If it seems like reports of ransomware attacks -- malicious software that holds data hostage unless a ransom is paid to the person or organization behind it -- are increasing, Malwarebytes agrees with you. The company released its Second Annual State of Ransomware Report recently. Among the findings is that 22 percent of small business that were hit with ransomware attacks were crippled to the point they had to cease operations immediately.
It's a somewhat staggering figure, but it makes sense once you think about it; large corporations often have the resources to work around (or, let's be real, pay off) these types of attacks. Small businesses, especially ones that rely on day-to-day operations to function, can't cope in the same way. "To make matters worse, most of them lack the confidence in their ability to stop an attack, despite significant investments in defensive technologies," said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, in the press release. The survey also found that small business owners and operators are less likely to pay a ransomware demand.
According to the report, 75 percent of organizations included in the survey saw ransomware as a high priority, but less than half had even moderate confidence they could deal with such an attack. When they are attacked, email is the primary infection method. This affect US-based companies more than European companies, according to the report.
If you want to check out the entire report for yourself, it's worth the read if you're concerned about ransomware. If you aren't worried about it and you own, operate or work at a small business, well, you should be. The numbers in the report are somewhat grim, and it seems as though these attacks are increasing in frequency and scale. ""Companies of all sizes need to remain vigilant and continue to place a higher priority on protecting themselves against ransomware," said the director of Malware Intelligence for Malwarebytes, Adam Kujawa.