62% of SMBs Hit With Ransomware Were Forced to Cease Operations

SMBs Struggle to Defend Against Cyber Threats

In a recent report featured by Tech Republic, 35% of SMBs were hit with ransomware in the last year.  Out of those impacted, 22% had to completely cease business operations to attempt to remediate the issue.  But for how long?  Over half of the attacks that resulted in a cease in operations, were down for over 8 hours.  The others, over two business days.

The financial impact of such event can be detrimental to a small/medium sized business.  Here are a few of the financial pieces to be considered:

  • Cost to repair the system(s)
  • Lost productivity hours for employees
  • Lost sales due to ceased operations
  • Future lost sales due to reputation damage

Protecting Your SMB From Ransomware

Tech Republic stated, over half of ransomware attacks occurred due to human error.  To be clear, there is no security program that is going to prevent users from clicking on something they shouldn’t.  Currently, the company’s security solution will scan the malicious attachment after it has been clicked on to determine its security.  If this malicious attachment is new, meaning the security program hasn’t labeled it bad yet — it will run — assuming the user is running an antivirus program that uses a blacklist for malware detection.  This assumption isn’t a far stretch, considering most security programs function with only blacklist technology.

But what if there was a different option?  Application whitelisting treats unknown files as bad, until tested and proven safe.  Now, the same scenario — John Doe clicks on a malicious attachment (human error), and the new, unknown executable attempts to run.  The whitelist blocks it until that executable can be tested and proven safe.  In this case, it would be found malicious and blocked from running.

Long story short, there is no way to prevent human error.  But there is a security solution that will protect company data when it does occur.

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18 thoughts on “62% of SMBs Hit With Ransomware Were Forced to Cease Operations

  1. Hmm the solultion seems like it scould alwase be used on network securtys all unknow files/links are bad until proven safe. Its basic safe fail security 101

  2. That seems awful high.
    According to US Business Census in 2014 there were 5,160,237 SMB’s in USA with under 19 employees.
    If 35% were HIT, infected by ransonware that would be 1.8 million SMB’s.
    If 22% then had to “completely” cease business operations to attempt to remediate the issue that is 397,338 busineses.

  3. Kayla, Standard practice when using “letters only to identify” something is to list the full meaning of the letters only ie “Small and medium sized business” then in parentheses list what you are going to refer the full typed name of whatever you are talking about, ie (SMB). Just because you know what you are talking about doesn’t mean the whole world is hep to your techno talk.

  4. Too bad PC Matic does NOT stop ransomware.

    I have had two attacks, one from a Yahoo Finance, and one from MSN,com
    So I do what I have done before PC Matic – push the Off button, restart in Safe Mode with networking, and run Microsoft Safety Scanner.

    The best thing I have done is set up Administrator and User accounts, denying user any privileges to install anything, without the popup password. In this way, I logon as User, so nothing can be installed on the computer, including ransomware. Just make sure privileges are thoroughly denied.

    However, since installing PC Matic about a month ago, it has blocked my TD Ameritrade investment advisor trading platform, requiring me to use another computer for trading stocks. And sorry, but the PC Matic support was useless in their advice how to allow the trading platform from the largest online broker in the US from being called a virus. And there was NO effort by PC Matic to contact TD Ameritrade to find out why. I took screen prints to identify the files being blocked – tried to reinstall to no avail.

    The only solution is to use a second computer for stock trading until PC matic is willing to stop blocking a very safe business site.

    • Thank you for your feedback. Have you tried again recently? I was able to access their website without any issues while also running PC Matic. It is possible, whatever issue you experienced, has since been resolved–but wanted to let you know you should be able to access it now.

  5. 22% or 62%? And 22% of 35% is around 7%. So which is the correct figure. Certainly not 62% if the text is to be believed.

    • Thanks for asking for clarification — Out of all SMBs, 35% were hit with ransomware in the last twelve months. Out of that 35%, 22% were forced to cease operations in an attempt to correct the issue. Therefore, out of all SMBs hit with ransomware, 62% were forced to shut down operations.

          • @Kayla Thrailkill: The text says “35% of SMBs were hit with ransomware in the last year. Out of those impacted, 22% had to completely cease business operations to attempt to remediate the issue.”

            The headline says, “62% of SMBs Hit With Ransomware Were Forced to Cease Operations”

            Those two statements are mutually-exclusive.

            • @Glen: OK I get it. That 35% is now 100% of the businesses affected.Therefore by the same method, the 22% becomes 62%.One multiplies it by slightly less than 3. Or 22% compared to 35% = 62%. The key is compared to 35% not 22% of 35% .
              100 bus X 35% = 35 bus
              035 bus X 22% = 07 bus.
              Kayla says
              35 bus is now 100% of the businesses affected.
              Thus you also multiply 22% X 7 X 3.
              For that would then be 22 bus.

              Meeeoooowwwr….Marum (Die schachspielen Katze)

                • @Ralph Hamilton: BTW. They who live in Oz, should have no trouble with this type of math. Our politicians of all persuasions and convictions (even they, who have not yet been convicted) use this type of calculation in their various prognostications.

                  Grrrooowwwllll….Marum. (Die schachspielen Katze)

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