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Preparing Businesses for the Rising Ransomware Threat.

In Entara’s recent webinar, our experts, Michael Brunetti from Entara and John Moretti, Principal Solutions Architect at eSentire, delved into the ever-changing landscape of ransomware and how the growing threat can impact businesses of all sizes and industries, but especially small and medium sized businesses. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about ransomware and steps you should take to protect your business.  

What is ransomware?  

Before we can take a deep dive into ransomware and the threat landscape, it’s crucial to understand what exactly ransomware is, understand the common buzz words used when talking about ransomware and how it works.  

Ransomware traditionally operates on a model of opportunistic extortion, with attackers casting a wide net to ensnare victims for one-time payment.  

Initial Access Brokers, or IAB, are threat actors who specialize in gaining access into victim organizations and auction that access to other cybercriminals, playing a key role in the Dark Web, the underground ransomware marketplace.  

The Dark Web is where cybercriminals operate their criminal enterprises. High value, stolen credentials (i.e., VPN logins, MFA tokens, email address) are traded for password spray attacks, a cyberattack tactic that involves a hacker using a single password to try and break into multiple target accounts. 

A large ransomware group, LockBit, seeks initial access to target networks primarily through purchased access, unpatched vulnerabilities, insider access, and zero-day exploits.  

Who is most at risk for Ransomware?  

Every business, regardless of its industry or scale, faces the threat of ransomware. While ransomware poses a risk to all sectors, malicious actors often target specific industries at a time. eSentire’s 2024 Ransomware Threat Report detailed the primary industries under siege by ransomware and their prevalent access vectors thus far this year. 

Contrary to popular belief, ransomware is not only a threat to mega corporations and large-scale businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses are also at risk of a ransomware attack. Bad actors don’t care about the size or industry of your business, they only care about the sensitive business and customer information they can hold for ransom payment. 

Let’s break down the stats from the webinar:  

51% of attacks targeted businesses with less than 100 employees 

75% of small & medium sized businesses go out of business due to a ransomware attack  

88% of small & medium sized businesses experienced a downtime due to a ransomware attack 

The average cost to recover from a ransomware attack averaged $126,000 for small businesses, including loss of revenue.  

So, why do these businesses tend to fall victim to ransomware attacks? 

Small and medium-sized businesses tend to have limited budgets for cybersecurity staffing and tools to protect their business. These businesses also tend to rely on traditional security tools (i.e., firewalls and antivirus) that don’t provide comprehensive coverage and also lack the resources to hire, train and retain in-house security professionals. Because of this, attackers perceive small businesses as having lower levels of security, leaving them a target to ransomware threats. According to eSentire, 80-90% of all successful ransomware compromises originate through unmanaged devices.  

Check out the full webinar recording  

Entara stands ready to support small and medium-sized businesses against ransomware threats 

Don’t wait for an incident to strike to take action. At Entara, we deliver exceptional, security-first IT solutions tailored to your needs. With over 125,000 hours of experience helping our unmanaged clients recover from ransomware and a deep commitment to mitigating cybersecurity risks, we are your trusted partner in safeguarding your business. Contact us to get started on implementing proactive measures. 

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