The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses across the globe to adopt a remote work regime. As this measure had to be taken amidst a lot of chaos and uncertainty, most businesses simply did not have the time or resources to think it through.

The immediate goal for most small to medium businesses (SMB) was to somehow restore critical operations, either remotely or by leveraging the cloud. Businesses that opted in favor of the cloud remained well immune to ransomware due to better security protocols.

However, the worst hit were those SMBs that resorted to hap hazard, stop gap arrangements for remote work that had no ransomware protection mechanism in place. Ransomware is a rapidly increasing cyber attack due to its monetary dimension.

In a typical ransomware attack, a hacker will gain unauthorized access to your data and block its access by encrypting it. Some attackers may even exfiltrate your data as well. In return for decrypting your data, the attacker will demand a ransom money.

A recent survey conducted by data protection company Infrascale has revealed worrisome stats about increasing ransomware attacks on SMBs. A staggering 46% of surveyed businesses had already fallen prey to a ransomware attack.

What’s even more alarming is that an overwhelming 73% of these victim companies did actually end up paying the ransom. Most ransom payments ranged between $10,000 to $50,000, while some larger companies have even paid sums to the tune of $100,000.

Nearly a quarter of the surveyed SMBs admitted the lack of a plan in place to detect and mitigate a ransomware attack. Most security experts believe prevention is your best defense mechanism as you quickly run out of options after the attack itself.

Though quite ironic, cyber miscreants are even trying to cash in on the Covid-19 global pandemic by using Covid-19 related info as bait for unsuspecting online users. Another important missing link in the chain is promoting awareness among internet users.

The lack of preparedness on the part of most SMBs, coupled with less aware internet users has acted as a catalyst for launching and successfully perpetrating ransomware attacks. Even amidst Covid-19, we cannot let our guard down when it comes to security.