Last week, I participated in a panel presentation on ransomware.
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 panelist, Inspector Mark Mitchell from the Kawartha Lakes Police Service.
The true costs of cyber crime
Inspector Mitchell talked about the magnitude of cyber crimes. We all knew that ransomware is a very real threat—but what I didn’t know is that total loss from cyber crimes is expected to grow to trillions of dollars by 2019.
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.
By 2019, the business cost of all cyber crimes worldwide is expected to climb from $375 Billion to $2 Trillion.
To put this in perspective, Apple’s revenues were approximately $230 Billion in 2015 — this means the total losses from cyber crimes in 2015 was 150% of Apple’s revenue and growing by a factor of 5 by 2019! These criminals are sophisticated, organized, and now apparently well funded.
The challenge for law enforcement
70% of Canadian businesses have been a victim of cyber attacks. 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. Cyber crimes 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 cyber criminals:
- Perform a risk assessment
- Educate your employees
- 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.