So, what is ransomware?
"Ransomware is malware that employs encryption to hold a victim's information at ransom. A user or organisation's critical data is encrypted so that they cannot access files, databases, or applications. A ransom is then demanded to provide access." McAfee
Attackers are now doubling down on this by stealing your business data before alerting you. Then, even if you can recover from backups they can still extort a ransom not to release your organisational and private data to the public.
Ok, so your data is now being held for a financial ransom. What a difficult situation, but it doesn't end there... what are the other implications of this hostile attack?
Aside from the financial ransomware demand and inconvenience of losing your client and business data and potentially having it made public, other elements to consider which elevate the cost of the attack include:
💰 Operational downtime - often 2 days & the long tail to full recovery
💰 Penalties for unmet contractual obligations for existing clients
💰 Fines for non-compliance
💰 Angry customers leaving your business - loss of trust
💰 Damage to brand image
💰 Lost sales opportunities due to diminished trust
💰 The huge expense of attack incident response & data recovery
And the final cost here takes us full circle to the cost of implementing the security controls, policies, procedures and allocating a sufficient security budget which could have prevented the attack in the first place. Having these in-place will greatly reduce the risk and impact of such an attack recurring.
A sobering read wouldn't you agree?
Prevention takes time, planning and effort but is so much easier and cost effective than mopping up the after effects.