A significant number of small and medium-sized businesses have been affected by ransomware (opens in new tab) attack in the past 12 months, new statistics from cybersecurity experts Avast show.
The company recently surveyed 1,000 SMBs and found that 26% had fallen victim to the dreaded cybercrime. Of that number, nearly half (47%) decided to pay the demanded ransom to regain their data and access to their endpoints.
Despite paying the demands, the consequences are still painful – four in ten (41%) lost valuable data in the process, while a third (34%) lost access to their devices.
Back up sensitive data
The silver lining in the report is that awareness about cybersecurity is relatively high. About half (48%) of companies surveyed see cyber-attacks as their top threat, followed by physical security (35%) and supply chain issues (33%). Most companies (69%) believe they have enough information to protect against such attacks, and 76% said they have already “taken action” in that regard. Although, they would like to get more support from the government.
Backing up data seems to be at the top of everyone’s agenda, with 63% of companies surveyed doing this at least once a week.
Avast also asked respondents about the effects of the Russo-Ukrainian war on cybersecurity and got some pretty interesting results.
It turned out that the war was a good catalyst for cyber warfare, with 68% of SMBs now more concerned about cyber attacks than they were before the invasion. In fact, they were so concerned about cybersecurity that they increased their cyber insurance spending despite rising costs across the board.
“The results of this study highlight the problem, particularly in relation to ransomware that large segments of the small business population are ill-equipped to deal with. They often pay a ransom without any guarantee that they will get their data back. This is the saddest situation, but the good news is that unlike larger organizations, small businesses can be fast, agile and take advantage of a lack of bureaucracy to plan ahead before a crisis hits,” said Lindsey Pyle, Vice President of Strategy at Avast Company.
“SMBs should use these strengths to prepare and create a plan, which at a minimum includes implementing online and offline backups, installing an antivirus, setting up network monitoring, and setting up an automated patching regime .”