data protection against ransomware

Ransomware: Holy Sh!t, The Threat Is Even Bigger Than We Thought

Not long ago I co-presented on a panel that still sticks with me.

It was titled “Ransomware: You are Not Immune.” The title of the panel presentation should have been “Holy Sh!t, The Threat is Even Bigger Than We Realized”.

I was there as the expert on how to protect your data from ransomware, but I learned a great deal from another panellist, Inspector Mark Mitchell from the Kawartha Lakes Police Service.

The true costs of cybercrime

Inspector Mitchell talked about the magnitude of cybercrimes. We all knew that ransomware is a very real threat—but what I didn’t know is that total loss from cybercrimes is expected to grow to trillions of dollars by 2019.

Yes, trillions of dollars!

Inspector Mitchell quoted from a recent report, A Cyber Strategy for Ontario Law Enforcement: A Discussion Paper. 2017.2. In 2015, Canadians lost $2 Billion to online identity theft and fraud.

In 2019, ransomware has cost businesses more than $8 billion and this malicious software is behind more than 56% of cyber attacks. These criminals are sophisticated, organized, and now apparently well funded.

The challenge for law enforcement

70% of Canadian businesses have been a victim of cyberattacks. Small and medium businesses are most vulnerable to ransomware attacks, so that includes the majority of businesses operating today.

The vast majority of ransomware crimes are initiated overseas so this poses substantial challenges for law enforcement. Cybercrimes originate in over 190 countries around the world. Russia, Nigeria, China and North Korea are the most publicized. Profits are known to filter back to terrorist organizations as well as crime rings.

But don’t despair! There are actions you can take to protect your data from cybercriminals:

  1. Perform a risk assessment
  2. Educate your employees
  3. Get immutable backups onsite AND an immutable copy offsite

ioFABRIC has a list of partners that can assist with all three of these steps. Contact us for more information on how to protect against ransomware.