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Ransomware generated downtime is a growing business continuity threat: report

Intermedia's 2016 Crypto-Ransomware Report shows that ransomware is targeting bigger businesses and spreading within corporate networks, which spotlights a widespread gap in business continuity.

Intermedia has released its 2016 Crypto-Ransomware Report, which surveyed nearly 300 expert IT consultants for their perspectives on the scope and costs of ransomware. The experts' opinions contradicted conventional wisdom regarding the threat associated with ransomware: business downtime was ranked as a far bigger cost than the ransom itself.

The survey also found that ransomware is affecting bigger businesses and multiple victims within each business.

Key findings from the report include:

A ransomware outbreak creates two hard choices for businesses: Either spend multiple days recovering locked files from backups, or pay ransom to an organized crime syndicate.

In either scenario, though, businesses are likely to face significant user downtime that overshadows the cost of the ransom. 72 percent of infected business users could not access their data for at least two days following a ransomware outbreak, and 32 percent lost access for five days or more.

As a result, experts observed significant data recovery costs, reduced customer satisfaction, missed deadlines, lost sales and, in many cases, traumatized employees.

This widely observed downtime implies that few companies possess a business continuity solution for a ransomware outbreak. Such a solution enables users to remain productive during a ransomware outbreak. It offers the capabilities to instantly roll back an archive of files to their uninfected state and to immediately access those clean files from alternate devices.

Ransomware is targeting bigger businesses: Ransomware should no longer be seen solely as a threat to individuals and small businesses. Nearly 60 percent of businesses hit by ransomware had more than 100 employees, and 25 percent were enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.

What's more, the virus was observed propagating rapidly within corporate networks: 86 percent of outbreaks affected two or more employees, and 47 percent spread to more than 20 people.

Ransomware is a growth industry: The threat of ransomware is rapidly growing. According to Intermedia's report, 43 percent of IT consultants have had their customers fall victim to ransomware, 48 percent saw an increase in ransomware-related support inquiries and 59 percent expect the number of attacks to increase this year.

To view Intermedia's complete ransomware report, click here.

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