Ransomware Victims are More Likely to Suffer a Second Attack, Report Finds

#TechTipTuesday
If you’ve been the victim of one ransomware attack, don’t assume you’re exempt from future attacks. A survey by cybersecurity firm, Cybereason, found that 80% of ransomware victims suffer from repeat attacks (reference).

More specifically, if an organization paid ransom demands, they were more likely to be exposed to a second attack. This was true for organizations surveyed across various industries in countries including the U.S., Spain, UK, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and France.

Why is this true?

Let’s think about it. Being attacked “successfully” (i.e., hacked and bonus, ransom paid) sends a straightforward yet obvious message to other cyber attackers: you were attacked once. Therefore you’re likely vulnerable to being attacked again. It’s a solid business model for cyber attackers looking for their next victim – search for the organizations that have already been victims and know you have a better chance of successfully hacking them a second time.

In today’s cybersecurity climate, cybercriminals are making a full-fledged business out of ransomware attacks. By targeting organizations that have been previously attacked, cyber actors target money and access to achieve their objectives. Similar to a legal business, cybercrime comes with a strategy with a clear goal, and unfortunately for organizations, it’s proving successful more often than not.

How successful are these cyber actors?

According to the FBI, cybersecurity threats are increasing exponentially every day in the U.S. To give some perspective, the U.S. government is currently investigating over one hundred different variants of ransomware. For each variant of ransomware, there are up to hundreds of victims.

My organization hasn’t been a victim of ransomware yet. What could this mean for us?

The effects of ransomware attacks are detrimental to organizations. Cybereason’s report found the following:

  • 66% of victim organizations reported significant revenue loss as a result of a ransomware attack
  • 53% reported that their brand suffered as a result of a ransomware attack
  • 25% reported that they shut down their organization as a result of a ransomware attack
  • 29% reported they were forced to eliminate jobs as a result of a ransomware attack

The effects are real and lasting. Often, even if an organization survives, it can take months to get back to a semblance of normal. And, paying a ransom doesn’t simply “make it go away.” There is no easy solution. The only solution is prevention. 

Make sure you have an experienced IT security team. If you ever suspect you’ve been the victim of a ransomware attack, contact your IT security team immediately before responding, taking any response action, and especially before paying the ransom. Contact PK Tech if you need help.

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