A recent survey has said that 54% of businesses surveyed had come under attack from ransomware in the last twelve months. Ransomware essentially encrypts files on a computer or on a network of computers. Companies affected then have to pay the ransom in order to be provided with the decryption key in order to unlock their own files. The most common areas targeted are the healthcare and finance industries.
In a disturbing twist it has now been reported that banks have between £22,000 and £44,000 in bitcoin ready at all times to deploy and pay in the event of a ransomware attack. Bitcoin being the common currency used in the event of these attacks as it is the most difficult for the police to track.
Small banks and credit unions are cited as the biggest target of these attacks in 2016 as they have fewer defences against these breaches.
Cybercrime has become a very prominent part of the cyber age with criminals attacking a much broader range of businesses and virus’s constantly adapting so that they are missed by anti-virus software. All business should take the time to assess if they have adequate back up in the event of such attacks and whether this back-up can be restored and how long it would take to recover such data. Most ransomware can see storage that appears as an attached drive and will encrypt that along with everything else and therefore it is not surprising the increased need for experts in IT protection to go into businesses from multi-million corporations to small operations to advise so that they have adequate measures in place.