Estimates from the FBI show that the costs from so-called ransomware have reached an all-time high. Cyber-criminals collected well over $1 billion in the first quarter of 2017 by extorting businesses and institutions to unlock computer servers.
Wow, at that rate, ransomware is on pace to be a $5 billion-plus a year crime this year!
The FBI told CNN that the number “is quite high” because a few people “reported large losses.” The agency also said that the losses could even be bigger once other related costs from these extortion schemes are factored in. Plus: Some victims may choose to pay and not report the crime.
In one case, a South Carolina school district paid an estimated $10,000 when cyber-criminals locked up its computer servers.
That relatively small amount is the norm because it encourages companies and institutions to pay up as soon as possible to regain control of their computers.
“The ransomware criminals understand this,” said Paul Roberts, founder and editor of a website called The Security Ledger. Their business, in some ways, is a volume business. By not setting the ransom too high, they can get their money and move on to the next victim.”
The only protection that always works is a good backup of your company’s data. Hooks Systems of Wilmington and Myrtle Beach offers their clients a combination of local and cloud backups with 24 x 7 monitoring. Either of these backups can quickly be restored, eliminating the need to consider paying a ransom.