Don’t be the low hanging fruit
With the ever-growing rate of cyber-attacks, we have seen a rise in ransomware attacks. Hackers are constantly scanning the internet for vulnerable and weakly protected systems. In search for what we call, low hanging fruit. When an organization falls prey to a ransomware attack, they are face with the decision of whether they’re going to pay the ransom and hopefully get back up and running or not pay and run the risk of never getting their data back.
It may seem tempting to some to just pay and get your data back, but the repercussions are just not worth it and in some cases are illegal.
Here are four reasons to not pay ransomware.
There’s No Guarantee You’ll Regain Access to Data
Most victims prefer to pay the ransom because they see it as a less expensive or less risky option compared to not paying. The way ransomware is design is that you pay the ransom on your data, and you regain access. However, only 51% if victims that paid the ransom were able to get their data back. A study shows that only 8% of business got all their data back. On average businesses will only receive 65% of their data back. The attackers who hold the ransom are thieves. There is no guarantee that they will honor the ransom.
Ransom Payment Encourages More Attacks
When an organization pays the ransom, they are more likely to be targeted again. The organization may be seen as a well of money for to the attackers. This same reason could result in only partial access to data. Studies show that 80% of organizations that paid the ransom, have experienced a second attack by the same group. The attacker could have saved a copy of the data just to threaten you more to pay more ransom. By paying the ransom, the organization put a target on their backs. The advice has always been to not negotiate with the attackers.
The Attacker Could Still Leak or Sell Your Data
An organization paid the ransom and got all their data back, great right? Not so much. The attacker could have saved a copy of the data just to leak the data or sell it to nefarious people. Depending on the information, the attacker possibly could sell the data to worse criminals. Companies who need to comply to HIPAA are usually most targeted due to the nature of the sensitive information they hold. Data such as social security numbers, health records, banking information, phone numbers, and email addresses can all be sold by the attackers.
Paying Ransom can Cost You Fines
Many of these ransomware actors reside in countries in which the U.S. government has sanctions on. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has included malicious cyber actors in its cyber related sanctions program. These sanctions allow OFAC to penalize any U.S. persons who aid and or support these cyber criminals. By paying the ransom, a person is counted to be assisting these attackers. The penalties apply even if the victim is unaware of the sanctions and may be civilly liable by OFAC.
Ransomware attacks can be an expensive headache. These attacks usually start as malicious software that get on to a system usually through a phishing email or weak cyber defense. At EZETech, we set up controls throughout your organization to prevent and minimize the chances and damages of ransomware attacks. Our team of trained professionals understand the many different ways these criminals can get into your network and systems. We work with your team to train your staff to spot these threats before letting them in by mistake. We lock down systems, networks and even user permissions to prevent this costly threat. Additionally, we provide you with consistent patching and training to make sure your systems are simply too tough to break into. In most cases these hackers are lazy and will move on to other low hanging fruit.
Contact EZETech today for more information on our IT services.