Cyberattacks are on the rise and continue to make the news. But what do these attacks mean for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)?
This one hit big on the news on May 7th, The Colonial Pipeline, one of the country’s largest oil pipelines fell victim to a ransomware attack. To contain the threat, the company had to shut down certain systems of the pipeline, which in turn has halted the transportation of 45% of the gasoline that is used on the east coast – as much as 100 million gallons a day! This halt caused an oil shortage and a rise in oil prices all along the east coast.
Then, on May 30th, Brazil-based JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer also fell victim to a ransomware attack. This attack originated from their computer systems in their facilities in Australia and the United States and were brought offline to contain the attack. JBS accounts for 23% of the world’s meat production, and the company has started back production after restoring from their backup servers. Like the pipeline, this attack also resulted in higher prices for consumers.
According to Forbes, as of 2020, the average cost of a data breach is $3.68 million, and since 2014 cybersecurity attacks have risen by 67% globally.
So, what exactly is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that targets specific files, and once affected, prevents employees from accessing files unless a ransom is paid. Without proper protections in place, companies are forced to pay these high ransoms to maintain productivity.
By the end of 2021, ransomware attacks are anticipated to cause $20 billion in damage, which is 57x higher than 2015! According to Datto RMM, the average cost of an individual ransom is $5,600 and the downtime incurred during that time can cost up to 50x more than the ransom itself. Doing the math, that’s up to $280,000 – a huge chunk of hard-earned cash for an SMB.
Perhaps these recent attacks could have been blamed on the technological protection systems, however, Founder of Black Line IT Jody Jankovsky states, “Cybersecurity is 10% technology and 90% human error.” And many of the attacks experienced in the past year can be attributed to poor IT management and a lack of cybersecurity training for employees.
So, how can you protect your company from compromising it’s cybersecurity?
You can reduce your chances of being targeted by a ransomware attack by migrating critical and operational data for your company from files like Excel spreadsheets to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software like Microsoft Dynamics. – if your critical operational data is in an ERP, any affected files will not affect productivity as severely.
Another way to help protect your operations from a ransomware attack would be by creating a solid, regular backup process. With regular backups in place, if you are attacked by ransomware, you can easily delete all the infected files and restore them from a backup after your system is rid of the infected files.
How can Black Line IT® Help?
Additionally, Black Line® IT offers Security Essentials training to help keep SMBs safe in today’s cyberworld. The interactive training session provides attendees with critical information that they can apply to both their professional and personal lives. Topics covered in the session include internet safety, email safety, credential stealing, and social engineering. Black Line’s experts bring current, real-world examples to help attendees identify what to look for and understand how they can help prevent cybercriminals from attacking. All attendees will receive reference materials following the training, including a copy of the slides, articles referenced in the session, and a recording of the training.
With attacks being seen all over the news, ransomware can seem very scary, and it is, but it does not have to have devastating effects on your SMB as it does on the companies making the news. With Black Line IT, you implement the right technology to stop many attacks from happening, then train your employees so they don’t fall victim to anything that makes its way into your business. You can trust Black Line IT to protect you and educate your team so you can trust the people you trust most with keeping your company safe.