Ransomware makers are cunning, exploitative, and deceptive. And that’s exactly why, if a ransomware message pops up on your screen, you should first take it with a grain of salt.
One of the latest trends in 2017 is not to even infect your system with ransomware. Instead, cybercriminals will just tell you they’ve compromised your system, and a place for you to deposit the ransom money.
And it’s worked. According to a recent Citrix Study which polled 500 U.K businesses, 200 of these reported being “bluffed” by a cybercriminal, with nearly two out of three forking over a payment.
The cost of each ransomware bluff was a whopping $16,000 at today’s exchange rate, with several victims playing double that amount—$32,000—to decrypt files that weren’t even encrypted in the first place!
The study also concluded a worrying trend – one that is profoundly altering the landscape of operating a business anywhere in the world.
A Worrying Trend
The study brought up something deeply concerning, according to Citrix. They said there was “a worrying impression that organizations may be treating ransomware as a cost of doing business.”
This is bad for many reasons. Firstly, it means businesses are expecting to incur higher unavoidable costs than they did a decade ago. Secondly, that this attitude means they’re highly likely to just fork over money to cybercriminals rather than fight back.
And since the perpetrators know this, that’s why these fake ransomware-attacks have been so successful. With getting such substantial payouts and no consequences, there’s nothing to stop them continuing to perpetrate cyber-crime on the world’s business community.
Are we moving towards an era where governments can be held for ransom—fake or otherwise—and just pay taxpayer money as a matter of course?
The Solution: Fight Back!
Ransomware can be beaten. You don’t have to fork over $16,000 or more even if the infection is legitimate. All you need to do is to have a backup plan – a literal one.
If you have an uninfected backup of your business data, you can clean your infected machines and then perform a full recovery. The simple fact is that your data can’t be held for ransom if you’ve got a safe duplicate of it.