Maintaining continuous data backups as part of your cybersecurity strategy can help you recover from ransomware. Disconnecting any affected devices from core network connections and resetting credentials like passwords can also be helpful.
Cyber insurance can cover costs such as a company’s deductible, customer notification, and legal defense fees. It can even cover lost revenue due to business interruption.
Costs for Data Recovery
A ransomware attack is one of the most expensive types of cyberattacks. According to a recent study, the average total cost of recovery from a ransomware attack has more than doubled in just a year. The cost of recovery from ransomware or other type of data breach depends on the size of your business, the amount and kind of sensitive data that is stolen, and how quickly you can restore it.
The key to keeping remediation costs down is having solid defenses in place. Phishing, remote desktop protocol (RDP) exploitation, and software vulnerabilities are the primary causes of ransomware infections. Preventing these attacks by patching systems, improving employee security awareness, and monitoring underground marketplaces for stolen credentials can dramatically reduce your ransomware risk.
Cyberattacks cost more than lost revenue and a tarnished reputation. Many indirect expenses, such as the time it takes to restore your company’s services and a drop in client demand, can add up and devastate your bottom line.
Many cybersecurity experts caution against paying the ransom to hackers because it often backfires. The hackers may be more likely to target your business again if you pay them. This is because a payment sends the message to others that your company’s information is valuable, and they can quickly profit from your misfortune.
Costs for Notifying Customers
In addition to the cost of restoring systems and data, firms that get hit with ransomware must also notify their customers about what happened. Depending on the nature of the data breach, this could involve a significant number of clients and can add to the overall loss of business following the attack. A financial arrangement between a company and a hacker and its related damages is known as a ransomware settlement. And it’s pretty essential for the business.
In some cases, victims must also hire lawyers to ensure they comply with data breach notification laws at the local, state, and federal levels. This is especially true for companies that store sensitive information or financial records.
Many cyber criminals use cryptocurrency to collect ransom payments, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace or punish them. This has led to attacks being increasingly sophisticated and creative. For example, mobile ransomware demanded payment using gift cards, making tracking nearly impossible.
Practicing good cybersecurity hygiene is the best way to limit the damage from a ransomware attack. This includes educating employees about social engineering risks and regularly patching systems. It is also critical to back up all data and implement a robust incident response process, including tabletop exercises. By doing so, firms can minimize lost business, often the most significant ransomware attack cost.
Costs for Notifying Law Enforcement
As more people and businesses go online, cybercriminals are stealing, ransoming, and corrupting data to get their hands on it. As a result, many insurers are raising insurance premiums. Some have even withdrawn from the insurance market altogether. Fortunately, you can lower your cyber insurance premiums by following security best practices.
Using a layered security approach with multifactor authentication, and deploying an application firewall, will help you prevent most attacks. You can also limit access to resources based on sensitivity, like confidential or critical data, and deploy a security platform to see all your data and activity across the entire network.
Another way to reduce your costs is by avoiding paying ransoms. While hackers may promise to decrypt your data after you pay, it is not guaranteed. In fact, in the latest attack, if any, victims who paid the ransom could recover their data. Additionally, paying a ransom sends a signal to cyber criminals that they can get away with this crime and will likely target your business again.
In addition to these costs, you may need to invest in new technology or services to fix your systems and restore data. For example, if your system downtime affects customer service, you may need to hire temporary workers or use third-party solutions. Additionally, you may have to purchase hardware to replace infected computers and servers.
Costs for Rebuilding Trust
Once the immediate costs of a ransomware attack have been addressed (whether the business decides to pay a ransom or recovers data through backups), the organization has to rebuild trust with customers and employees. This can take weeks or months and results in lost productivity and revenue, which is terrible for a business’s reputation. Experts in cybersecurity like Fortinet advise against a ransomware settlement because it can put a target on your back for future attacks. Its hard enough to win the trust of your customers back once, but each time after gets more and more difficult.
New IT equipment may also be necessary if older systems cannot be restored. In addition, staff will need to be retrained on cyber security best practices to be more resilient.
Many cyber insurance policies include coverage for remediating a ransomware attack. However, the premiums for these policies have increased significantly in recent years. This is because insurers better understand the impact of this type of attack and are charging higher premiums to offset the risk.
The most effective way to reduce remediation costs associated with a ransomware attack is to prevent the infection in the first place. This is easier said than done, especially for organizations with limited IT budgets. However, investing upfront in defenses can save much money in the long run.