Sophos recently published its report, “The State of Ransomware 2022”. Of the 5,600 respondents surveyed, about two-thirds experienced ransomware attacks last year, which is a 78% increase in volume from the year prior. It is clear that ransomware attacks are increasing in frequency, severity, and complexity, and continue to affect businesses of any size and industry. The report also draws attention to the importance of embedding cyber hygiene in cyber insurance policies. It is imperative that all businesses are prepared for an attack to occur and have an incident response plan in place in the event that one does occur.
Another key takeaway from the report is that 46% of surveyed organizations that were attacked paid the ransom, while only 4% of businesses that paid a ransom actually got all of their data back. This is more common than it should be and underscores the significance of prevention. The malicious actor might promise to return the organization’s data upon receiving payment, but then encrypt it and ask for additional payment, or worse, never restore the data at all.
Prevention and preparation are crucial ways an affected organization can maintain control. Some of the best preventative measures include implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) across the entire organization, maintaining frequent, segregated backups, testing the backups regularly, securing ports, and training employees on how to identify a potential attack and what to do next if one is identified. This is called an incident response plan and it is critical to have one in place, as well as ensure it is effectively communicated throughout the organization, not just within the IT department, for example.
Cowbell offers its policyholders access to a wealth of resources to help manage their cyber risk and reduce the chances of being seriously, and sometimes irreparably, harmed by a ransomware attack. These resources include real-time risk ratings and insights, access to Cowbell’s dedicated risk engineering team, employee cyber awareness training, and access to Cowbell’s vendor marketplace of best-in-class cybersecurity providers through Cowbell Rx. Ransomware is an epidemic that is not going anywhere soon, but there are steps we can all take to mitigate risk and Cowbell is here to help.