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One in Five SMBs Hit by Ransomware in 2019

By Silviu Stahie on Oct 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

Ransomware attacks continue to focus on small and medium businesses (SMBs), according to a 2019 Datto survey. Companies are now more exposed than ever, and the trend shows an increase in attack frequency if organizations continue to shirk online security measures.

The survey, which gathered information from 1,400+ managed service providers (MSPs) from around the world, revealed that 1 in 5 SMBs fell victim to a ransomware attack in 2019. Meanwhile, downtime costs are now 23 times greater than the average ransom request, showing why organizations should look carefully for solutions to help them get over these problems easier and faster.

Interestingly, managed service providers (MSPs) are a lot more concerned about the increased number of threats, in an apparent disconnect with SMBs. 89% of MSPs are worried about the possible effects of ransomware, and only 28% of SMBs share their concerns.

While ransomware is the number one threat to SMBs, other forms of malware pose a danger for companies. After ransomware, 61% of SMBs are affected by viruses, 54% by malware and 45% by adware.

The upshot of the survey is that, on average, SMBs who don't outsource their IT services are much more likely to fall victim to ransomware and other infections. The average cost of a ransom request is on the rise as well, hitting $5,900 in 2019 from $4,300 in 2018. Downtime costs have increased over 200% at the same time, jumping from $46,800 to $141,000.

The industries most affected include construction and manufacturing, professional services, healthcare, finance, insurance, non-profit, legal, retail and real estate. 87% of the attackers are registered on Windows PCs.

Recovery from ransomware attacks is always complicated, especially if companies had no safeguards. The good news is that MSPs say they managed to virtualize the system from a backup image in 53% of cases, which means that some businesses were somewhat prepared. Unfortunately, only 15% of MSPs report used an endpoint antivirus to recover.

The survey results indicate that ransomware attacks won’t stop anytime soon. AIG, one of the world’s biggest cyber insurers, says that ransomware is becoming increasingly targeted and disruptive. SMBs that won't adapt to the new security landscape will have to spend a lot more on recovery than on prevention solutions, and other types of threats may become more prevalent in the future.

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Author: Silviu Stahie

Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between. He's passionate about security and the way it shapes the world, in all aspects of life. He's also a space geek, enjoying all the exciting new things the Universe has to offer.