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A quarter of SMBs have experienced ransomware attacks

New data from cybersecurity specialists Avast shows that a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises have been hit by ransomware attacks in the previous year.

Recent polling of 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses by the corporation indicated that 26% have been victims of cybercrime. Nearly half (47%) of those affected paid the ransom to regain access to their data and computers.

Despite complying with the requests, the aftermath is nevertheless unpleasant for the majority: 41% of those affected lost important data, and 34% had their devices rendered inaccessible.

Protecting private information by making backup copies

The report’s bright spot is that people are generally well-informed about cybersecurity. Cyberattacks are seen as the greatest risk by 48% of organisations, followed by physical security concerns (35%), and problems with the supply chain (33%). Sixty-nine percent of businesses say they have adequate data to defend themselves against cyberattacks, and 76 percent say they have “taken actions” to do so. But they would like additional help from the government.

Sixty-three percent of businesses questioned said they back up their data at least once a week.

Avast also inquired as to how the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has affected its customers’ online safety, and the responses were surprisingly illuminating.

Sixty-eight percent of small and medium-sized businesses are more worried about cyberattacks today than they were before the invasion, proving that the conflict served as a suitable spark for cyber-warfare. As a matter of fact, they were so concerned about cybersecurity that they increased their expenditure on cyber-insurance despite the fact that expenses in general were going up.

The findings of this poll show just how widespread the issue is, and how unprepared many small businesses are to deal with threats like ransomware. People often pay ransoms without assurances that their data will be recovered. Vice President of Strategy at Avast Business, Lindsey Pyle, says, “This is the saddest circumstance, but the good news is that unlike bigger organisations, small firms can be fast, nimble, and take advantage of a lack of bureaucracy to prepare ahead before a crisis develops.”

“SMBs need to utilise these strengths to get prepared and to get a plan in place, which at the bare minimum should include implementing online and offline backups, installing an antivirus, setting up network monitoring and ensuring an automated patching regime is established.”