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Small business owners already know about malware, trojans, phishing, and other methods of obtaining your data or infiltrating your network, but the latest type of cybercrime is more insidious still. It’s known as ransomware; as the name suggests, it infiltrates your network and restricts access to your data until a specified sum is paid, essentially holding your data to ransom.

While it’s possible to avoid making payment if a ransomware attack is handled right, many businesses have folded to the pressure and paid the specified sum.

We’re sad to report that the highest ransomware payment has just climbed to $1 million.

This hefty sum was paid by South Korean Web-hosting company, Nayana. With 153 Linux servers paired with over 3400 client websites, there was plenty of data to ransom. In fact, it was only through extensive negotiation that hackers were talked down from five billion won, which equates to around $4.4 million or £3.1 million. The company eventually managed to reach a final price of just over $1 million, or just over £7,100,000.

The software itself was known as Erebus, and it’s the latest sign of just how sophisticated ransomware programs are becoming.

Of course, most small businesses don’t have over 150 servers and 3400 client websites, but the astronomical fee should still give you pause. Your own ransomware attack might not end up costing you $1 million, but it could still cripple your company’s finances. Even if you emerge with data retained and no fee paid, you’ll still almost certainly face downtime. Worse yet, you could be in breach of GDPR guidelines if you failed to adequately protect your client’s data falling under the control of a cybercriminal.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to talk to your IT support provider to learn how to prevent ransomware, how to spot the signs, and how to avoid losing your data or facing excessive downtime in the event of an attack.

Andy McGowan
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