Downtime is key cost of ransomware attacks


Ransomware attacks represent the biggest threat to businesses and could cost those affected – almost all – with an estimated average of $5,000 to $20,000 a day.

These figures come from a survey taken from 170 security professionals taken at RSA 2017, the world’s largest security conference.

While exploring the respondents’ experiences with ransomware, the survey from Imperva found that 32% said their company had been infected with ransomware at some point, with 11% of those companies taking longer than a week to regain access to their systems after an attack.

>See also: How to minimise the impact of ransomware

According to CNN, in 2016, the FBI estimated that ransomware would be a $1 billion a year crime.

More than half (59%) of those surveyed said that the cost of downtime due to lack of access to systems for customers and employees was the biggest business impact of a ransomware attack. If a company suffered a ransomware attack which resulted in downtime, 29% said they would be losing between $5,000 and $20,000 a day, while 27% thought that the amount could be over $20,000 a day.

“Whether companies choose to pay the extortion or not, the real cost of ransomware is downtime and lost productivity,” said Terry Ray, chief product strategist at Imperva.

>See also: The year of the ransomware shakedown

“Even if victims have backup files or are willing to pay the ransom, the cost associated with productivity downtime adds up quickly. What’s more, the availability of ransomware-as-a-service, combined with high profits for the attackers, means ransomware attacks are likely to escalate in 2017,” he added.

“The interesting thing about ransomware is how simple it is to execute and how easy it is to inflict damage. Organisations tend to think of hacking as though it was rocket science which always puts them on the losing end. The reality is that hacking is most often simple, and mitigating it requires proper attention and tools which do exist and are within reach of most enterprises. Hacking is a serious business and enterprises should, therefore, treat information security seriously,” Ray concluded.


Nominations are now open for the Tech Leaders Awards 2017, the UK’s flagship celebration of the business, IT and digital leaders driving disruptive innovation and demonstrating value from the application of technology in businesses and organisations. Nominating is free and simply: just click here to enter. Good luck!

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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