What’s the Real Cost of Ransomware?

Nathan |

Ransomware attacks have peaked in the past few years with new variations of ransomware being introduced to the family, such as Mailto. And coronavirus has only further amplified the situation, setting the stage for hacking mayhem and malicious attacks.

ransomware attacks

With this increase comes an inflation of costs associated with this technique. Whether you’re working in-house or your business has switched to remote work due to restrictions, ransomware poses a serious threat to users across the world, particularly big businesses and tech companies with a lot to lose. 

By infecting computers or mobile devices, this malware scheme can grant hackers access to an entire network of devices – leaving companies at risk of complete takeover. Hackers have also taken it one step further by using coronavirus as a tool to generate email spam and malware domains. 

A system is compromised when hackers gain access to files and begin to silently encrypt each file one by one. Upon encryption, a ransom message is flashed, demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars to be transferred in the form of cryptocurrency in exchange for the decryption code to regain access to all affected files. 

With crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum on the rise, getting that repayment is now even easier for hackers – but what’s the real cost of ransomware?

Should you pay the ransom to hackers for the decryption code?

There are a number of ways you can promote cyber security within your business, even while working remote, but a ransomware attack presents a multitude of unique threats some businesses may have never even considered. If your company is faced with the unfortunate infiltration of ransomware there are two figures to consider before making a decision on the repayment: the ransom demand and the cost of recovering your data. 

While the easiest solution may seem like paying the ransom, it doesn’t necessarily mean a quick and easy resolution will be achieved. This also subjects the company to potential security breaches in the future and does very little to bolster a company’s safeguards. The strategy most advised by experts is to refuse ransom payment, requiring companies to choose alternative methods in file recovery. That’s why backing up your system regularly is the safest and cheapest way to recover data in the event of a ransom attack. Failing to do so could end up costing your business a lot more to rectify the situation. 

Toll Group ransomware attack resulted in disabled systems for weeks

Last year, Australian logistics company Toll Group was forced to disable all systems and return to manual processes after a ransomware attack. Infected with a strain of Mailto believed to infect as many as 1,000 servers, the company refused to pay the hacker but experienced disruption for weeks in an attempt to amend the effects of the attack.

It was reported these disruptions cost the company millions of dollars and months later they are still experiencing the aftermath of this devastating breach including customer fall out, delivery delays, tracking errors and penalty payments imposed by partners.

Not even a month after recovering from the devastating ransomware attack in January, Toll Group reported last week they have experienced another threat. Identified to be a relatively new form of ransomware known as Nefilim, Toll has publicly declared it will not pay. The company is working diligently to recover processes and will be using manual processes again for at least the next week.

Preventing ransomware attacks

The ACSC provides a variety of ways companies can prevent a ransomware attack, however one of the easiest ways to prevent this detrimental scenario from occurring is sourcing experienced IT support to help protect your company’s data and systems.

The IT Department can help ensure your files are safe from hackers by implementing reliable software and systems as well as closely monitoring suspicious activity. Keep your company safe and prevent a ransomware attack instead of trying to pick up the pieces after the fact. Speak with us directly by calling 1300 10 10 40 or get in touch online to learn more about our services and how we can help your business during these uncertain times.