SMBs lack the resources to combat ransomware

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Owners of small and medium businesses in the US recognize the potential of ransoware to disrupt their operations, but 84 percent say they wouldn't pay cyber criminals in the event of an attack.

Yet the survey by data security company IDT911 also shows that company assets and business operations are left highly vulnerable as nearly 75 percent don't have cyber insurance, or are unsure if their policy includes cyber protection.

"Ransomware is the Zika virus of the business world and there is absolutely no telling how far and wide this will spread," says Adam Levin, founder and chairman of IDT911, and author of Swiped. "Training alone isn't enough, cyber insurance alone isn’t enough and, sure as heck, backed-up data alone isn't enough. We're talking about complete and utter paralysis of systems that could spell lost revenue, viciously impacted customers and a potential near-extinction level event for a business. Businesses need a comprehensive cyber security strategy that includes prevention, monitoring and damage control".

Among other findings are that only three percent say they would pay $10,000 or more in a ransomware attack, whereas 10 percent would pay between $1 and $100. Nearly a quarter of business owners (22 percent) say they are unsure how to, or were not aware of the need to, back up their system and files.

A mere five percent have currently set aside funds in case of ransomware attacks. Interestingly, female business owners are more likely than men to report ransomware attacks to the authorities right away. There are age differences too, millennials (ages 18 to 34) are more likely to have cyber insurance protecting their business than those respondents aged 35 to 44.

More information on the study is available on the IDT911 website.

Photo credit: Ton Snoei / Shutterstock

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