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Ransomware, the reoccurring revenue model for cybercriminals

Credit: ID 92614568 © Tereeez | Dreamstime.com

Ransomware will make even the most experienced IT professional shiver.. Let’s say you woke up feeling refreshed and have a perfect commute into work, Life is good then when you walk through the office door one of your team walks up to you and tells you that one of your sites has been hit with ransomware and everything is encrypted. (that’s a Holy Crap Moment – Day ruined ).

Hopefully, in this situation, you have isolated segments of your networks and backups are all UpToDate (and on one of those isolated segments) so that you can recover with minimal data loss. Here’s a scary statistic about backups – only one-third of SME’s indicate that they continuously backup their systems. That is bad but let’s add in some statistics about cybersecurity incidents.

One in ten SMB’s have been affected by ransomware and 516,380 SMB’s fell victim to a cyber incident in 2017. This figure is sure to be rising over the last 12 months, as the notification of breaches is constant, and it is almost impossible to go through a week without hearing about one form of a breach or another. Let’s add in the average amount that the majority of SME’s would need to pay in ransom to unlock their encrypted data, $4677.

Even if only 25% (129,095) of those victims paid the ransom it would equate to $603,777,315. That kind of figure would certainly fund a couple of mansions on the beach in different sunny islands around the world. What about a Ferrari as well at each location in a couple of different colours so you can choose your ride depending on your mood? Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?  I am sure that there are plenty of non-extradition countries that could meet your needs.

The proceeds are an estimate and could be much higher, however, it would be split between thousands of cybercriminals, so the mansions and Ferraris may have to wait but even $300K-$500K annual income would be a decent salary. Invest that back into some legitimate income sources and you could, in the end, afford the desired fancy cars or estates (that is if you are not caught or accidentally travel to a country that has an extradition treaty – then you may lose it all).