Ransomware Attacks are serious threat to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Houston and beyond. It is a type of malicious software that encrypts the data on a victim’s computer or network and demands a ransom for its decryption. If the ransom is not paid, the data may be permanently lost or exposed to the attackers.
According to a recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures, ransomware attacks are expected to cost the global economy $20 billion in 2021, up from $11.5 billion in 2019. The report also estimates that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021, up from every 14 seconds in 2019.
SMBs are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks, as they often lack the resources, expertise, and awareness to prevent or recover from them. A survey by Datto, a data protection company, found that 85% of managed service providers (MSPs) reported ransomware attacks against their SMB clients in 2019, up from 79% in 2018. The survey also revealed that the average ransom demanded from SMBs was $5,900 in 2019, up from $4,300 in 2018.
The impact of ransomware attacks on SMBs can be devastating, as they can disrupt business operations, damage reputation, lose customers, and incur legal liabilities. Moreover, paying the ransom does not guarantee the recovery of the data, as the attackers may not honor their promise or may demand more money. In fact, the FBI advises against paying the ransom, as it encourages more attacks and does not ensure a solution.
So, how can Houston SMBs fight back against ransomware attacks? The answer lies in adopting a comprehensive and proactive approach that involves the following steps:
- Strengthening cyber defenses: SMBs should implement robust security measures to protect their systems and data from ransomware and other cyber threats. These measures include using antivirus software, firewalls, encryption, backup, and multi-factor authentication; updating software and hardware regularly; and avoiding suspicious links, attachments, and websites.
- Training the staff: SMBs should educate their employees on the risks and signs of ransomware and other cyberattacks, and how to prevent and respond to them. Employees should be instructed to report any suspicious or unusual activity, avoid opening or clicking on unsolicited or unknown emails, and use strong and unique passwords for different accounts.
- Hiring a professional service provider: SMBs should consider outsourcing their cyber security needs to a reliable and experienced MSP that can provide them with ransomware protection, detection, response, and recovery services. An MSP can help SMBs assess their vulnerabilities, implement best practices, monitor their systems, and restore their data in case of an attack.
Houston SMBs do not have to face ransomware alone. There is a team of experts ready to help them secure their digital assets and fend off the attackers. If you are a small business in Texas with 20 or more users, and interested in our services, support, consultation, or remediation, we are here to assist you. Call 281-402-2620 for more information.
Ransomware is not invincible. Houston SMBs can fight back and win with the right strategy, tools, and partners. Do not let ransomware hold your business hostage. Take action today and secure your digital future.