Are Ransomware attacks on UK businesses becoming unstoppable?
The idea of cybercrime, specifically ransomware attacks, becoming unstoppable is, for any UK business, a fairly terrifying concept.
We would never want to describe any cybercrime as being ‘unstoppable’ or ‘unpreventable’ in the right procedures are put in place. As Cyber Security experts, we’re keenly aware of growing issues of ransomware infiltrating UK business in recent years. Being realistic about the scale and type of threat being faced by organisations across the UK is important.
How do I protect my business against Cyber threats?
- Developing a clear understanding the nature Cyber threats pose to your business is key.
- Ransomware attacks have risen dramatically in the UK – 62% of ransomware attacks are targeted at small businesses. The Head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Lindy Cameron, has previously described ransomware attacks as the “most immediate danger” to UK businesses.
- Ransomware is a type of malicious software which criminals place in your network of device to lock you out of your computer – holding your files and sensitive data ‘ransom’ in exchange for money.
- 82% ransomware attacks are caused by human error.
- Businesses must implement preventative measures to ensure their business is fully protected from anti-virus software to employee security training.
Here at Alliance Solutions we provide robust cyber security solutions to help protect UK businesses.
Understanding Ransomware Attacks
One of the building blocks of any effective cyber security response is a clear understanding of the precise nature of the threat, and the way in which that threat changes and shifts as the cyber-criminals work to stay one step ahead of the measures employed against them. A range of figures show that when it comes to ransomware attacks, the number of incidents happening in the UK has been rising fairly dramatically.
For anyone not fully aware, ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware), which cyber-criminals place on a network or device. Once in place, this software locks the computer in question, making it impossible to access files and data. The cyber-criminals will then demand the payment of a ransom in order for the network or devices to be unlocked. In many cases, sensitive data will be extracted from the targeted network, and the threat to release or sell this data will from part of the effort to extort a ransom.
The notion that ransomware attacks are becoming unstoppable stems from a statement made by a senior official of President Biden’s administration in October 2022, to the effect that the pace and sophistication of ransomware attacks is increasing at a faster rate than the US’s governments’ ability to disrupt and recover from them.
In the UK, a recent Computer Weekly report stated that:
- The rate of ransomware attacks in the UK is the third highest in the world, behind only the US and Canada
- 62% of all such attacks are targeted at small businesses
- 82% of such attacks are caused by human error
- During 2021 the average ransomware demand rose by 144% to $2.2m
- The average payment rose by 78% to $541,010
Other statistics published in 2022 show that, over a 12 month period, 73% of UK businesses were impacted by ransomware attacks, a 15% increase on the previous year, and that 43% of such attacks were halted before the cyber criminals had a chance to encrypt any data.
Although only 13% of those businesses impacted ended up paying a ransom, the average cost of ransomware attacks in the UK was $1.08 million. This cost is likely to have been inflated, above and beyond any ransom paid in some cases, by the cost of things such as reputational damage, disruption to business and replacing any data permanently lost.
The head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Lindy Cameron, has previously described ransomware attacks as the “most immediate danger” to UK businesses.
While the impact of data encryption may make paying any ransom seem to be a tempting option, research has shown that 36% of companies who make a ransom payment are impacted by another ransomware attack in the future, while 41% don’t even get all of their data returned to them, 43% still had to rebuild their systems and 29% still saw some of their stolen data being leaked.
How Can I Protect My Business?
It’s clear then that prevention is always going to better than any kind of cure when it comes to mitigating the impact of ransomware attacks, and that’s why we offer the full range of preventative measures at Alliance Solutions.
From anti-virus protection and anti-malware detection to managed email security we can protect your devices and systems, and because human error is far and away the biggest cause of ransomware making its way onto the networks of a business, we also provide security awareness training, to help ensure that the people in your business aren’t the weakest security link.
If you’d like to know more about the cyber security solutions we offer and how we can protect your business from ransomware attacks, please contact us on 0800 292 2100 or email email@example.com.