Ransomware Attacks on Businesses are on the Rise

Specialty insurer Beazley has analyzed their clients’ data breaches thus far in 2016 and concluded that ransomware attacks will be four times higher this year compared to last year’s number of attacks. During the first nine months of 2016, Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services unit managed 1,437 data breaches on behalf of clients, compared to 931 breaches during the same period last year. This upward trend should serve as a warning for small to mid-sized businesses that do not have adequate cybersecurity protection. It is only a matter of time until your business falls victim to a ransomware or other cybersecurity attack that could cost your business money and damage your reputation.

According to the report, the ransomware growth trend is particularly evident in financial institutions, healthcare, and in retail and hospitality sectors. The report indicated that hacking and malware breaches accounted for 39% of the data breaches suffered by financial institutions, and that 19% of healthcare breaches were a result of hacking and malware. An alarming trend reveled that more than half of the breaches suffered by retailers originated from hacking and malware.

Katherine Keefe, global head of Beazley’s Breach Response Services explained, “From what we are seeing, it appears that many hackers are finding it easier to make money by holding companies to ransom for bitcoin than through selling personal data on the dark web.” While this is a sharp change from past trends, it is still proving costly to businesses. Even though a ransomware attack may only request a payment of $1,000, the financial repercussions are far more extensive for the business. Companies targeted by hackers looking for a quick dollar must often also pay for an in-depth review of their systems and data to ensure that the malware has been removed and that their data is clean.

What does this data breach report mean for your business?

The rising number of ransomware attacks should encourage you to take on a proactive approach in heading off these and other types of attacks. Take the time to train your employees on cybersecurity and help them to identify potential threats. Learn about hacking protection and how malware works. Hire a managed service provider that will work around the clock to protect your business against ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.

Hackers work relentlessly to find and financially exploit new targets that will fall victim to their schemes. Be proactive in protecting your business from evolving cybersecurity threats and avoid becoming another rising cybersecurity crime statistic.