Ransomware continues to pose a very real, very disruptive, and very dangerous threat to businesses across all industries.
The number of ransomware attacks on Canadian companies and organizations is on the rise, with more reported during the first six months of 2019 than in the previous year overall. It’s the most common cyberattack hitting SMBs, and costs more than $46K on average.
Any business or organization struck by ransomware can experience serious downtime, loss of earnings, and fractured client relationships. This is why every enterprise must take action to protect its data and avoid crises.
One of the most effective solutions to defend against ransomware is secure cloud storage. But what is this and how does it help?
Understanding Ransomware and its Impact on Companies
First and foremost, let’s define ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of malware designed to encrypt the target’s files and prevent normal function of related systems. They vary in severity, from locking victims out of a few key programs to bringing businesses’ entire operations screeching to a halt.
Either way, a ransomware attack has the potential be devastating. And, even worse, the attacker will demand a sum of money in exchange for releasing the victim’s system — though, sadly, there’s no guarantee they’ll keep their word.
The hacker could leave the malware in place and disappear with the ransom, never to be heard from again.
The size of ransoms differ, though the average stands at close to $13,000 (an increase of more than $6,000 from the end of 2018). That’s more than a small company or organization may be able to afford.
Ransomware can infect systems via:
● Spam emails with infected attachments
● Hackers exploiting gaps in the target’s security
● Downloading from infected websites
Sadly, infections may be triggered by accident, especially if employees are under pressure for fast results and fail to check a website’s credentials before downloading files.
Onsite Data Storage VS Cloud Storage
While cloud storage has grown more popular in the past decade, too many companies and organizations still depend on onsite hardware to store their data.
But this is only really an effective option if it’s never, ever linked with a computer connected to the internet. Otherwise, a ransomware attack can take the machine out of the owner’s control — and any onsite storage may be affected, too.
So, why do some businesses still rely on this traditional option?
Retaining control is just one reason. Business-owners may feel their data, and that of their clients, is less vulnerable when it’s kept on the premises rather than stored in the cloud.
Companies and organizations might worry about the safety of their intellectual property, too. These concerns will inspire them to keep all data stored in-house, rather than entrusting it to a third-party.
And while these reasons certainly hold water, there are real drawbacks to onsite storage, too.
Disaster recovery and data loss after a ransomware attack
Data stored onsite can be lost forever in the fallout of a cyberattack, including ransomware. Cybercriminals may not actually release victim’s systems after receiving their money (as we discussed earlier), and data might never be recovered.
Businesses could lose their records, their payroll information, clients’ work, and everything else of value. In the aftermath, clients may choose to take their business elsewhere instead.
And when ransomware hits hospitals (as it did in Ontario), colleges, and other public institutions, crucial information is at risk. In some cases, this may even be a matter of life and death.
The core advantage secure cloud storage offers businesses and organizations is reliable data backup. Data is held in online accounts rather than in onsite hardware, making it far less vulnerable to a breach or lockout.
Disaster recovery liberates companies from the fear of losing their data and suffering major setbacks. All data is stored in a remote location with no connection to the onsite system, protecting it from ransomware attacks.
Secure cloud storage is an excellent complement to additional cybersecurity practices, such as comprehensive staff training, education, and cutting-edge security software.
Secure Cloud Storage Scales with Your Company
Migrating from onsite data storage to the cloud may seem like a costly process, but it can actually help enterprises save money in the long run.
Why? Because secure cloud storage can scale along with businesses, eliminating the need to invest in new hardware or bigger premises designed to accommodate extra servers.
And relocating can be disruptive for any growing business, especially those on a tight budget or based in an area short on commercial space.
But with secure cloud storage, companies have the flexibility and freedom to upgrade in a more cost-effective, streamlined way.
There’s no need to scour the market for affordable hardware. There’s no need to search for a new site. Upgrading cloud storage makes no impact on day-to-day operations whatsoever.
Users only pay for the cloud storage they need. It’s not like buying a host of new hardware and leveraging just a small part of its capacity.
Furthermore, businesses and organizations can access data stored in the cloud from any place, at any time. The necessary login details are crucial, of course, but reliable providers of secure cloud storage follow stringent precautions to prevent any form of unauthorized access.
Having unrestricted access to data stored in the cloud offers maximum convenience. Employees with permission to open and edit files can work from almost anywhere in the world, staying connected to projects 24/7.
Finding the Right Secure Cloud Storage Package for Your Business
Investing in secure cloud storage can transform the way in which your company protects your (and clients’) data against ransomware attacks.
And at NETWORTH, we offer scalable services to accommodate your business requirements, goals, and budget. We use state-of-the-art technology and deliver outstanding customer service to every client.