Ransomware costs are getting out of hand, as a new report found that the cyberattack represented a $1.2 billion cost in 2021.
There's no denying that cybersecurity has become a vital aspect of the business world in recent years. Security breaches can cost businesses millions and the skills gap continues to get wider and wider as education in the space lags.
The result has been that cost of these attacks has gotten much worse, with a new report noting that the cost of ransomware in 2021 nearly quadrupled since 2020.
Ransomware Costs Quadrupled from 2020 to 2021
That's right, according to the report — titled Financial Trend Analysis — ransomware costs went from around $416 million in 2020 to $1.2 billion in 2021, which represents a 188% increase year over year. Even worse, the number is probably much higher, given that many ransomware victims rarely report the cybercrime to the proper officials.
“The $1 billion plus reported as potential ransomware-related payments likely represents only the tip of the iceberg.” – Brett Callow, a threat analyst at Emsisoft to CyberScoop
Considering ransomware makes up a substantial percentage of all cyberattacks, hitting everything from colleges and hospitals to individuals and small businesses, it's safe to say that getting this under control is important. But how?
What Is Being Done About Ransomware?
With a cost of more than a billion dollars, there's clearly plenty of reason to start taking the ransomware threat seriously. Fortunately, the US government is intervening, although not by offering rewards for information on ransomware gangs, like they have in the past.
No, instead the White House went a bit more international by hosting the International Counter Ransomware Summit. At this two-day summit, officials from 36 different countries met in hopes of curbing the international epidemic of ransomware attacks.
The goal of the summit is to create task forces that are equipped to disrupt ransomware attacks and develop better network of threat sharing to keep official a step ahead of these attackers. But what can you do to protect yourself from ransomware attacks?
How to Protect Your Business From Ransomware
There are plenty of risks online, particularly for a small business that may actual be targeted by hackers for having lax security measures in place. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure your business doesn't fall victim to a ransomware attack.
The easiest step is to make sure all your company devices are regularly updated. It may seem obvious, but even waiting a few days to install new device updates can leave them vulnerable to breach. On top of that, try to back up your data in a meaningful way, so that you can get access to it if you do unfortunately fall victim.
Finally, you have to invest in cybersecurity. Ideally, you'll get an IT department to handle your particular needs, but even getting set up with tools like antivirus software, password managers, and VPNs can go a long way in helping to guarantee your business stays safe from ransomware attacks.