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Large Percentage Of Ransomware Victims Paying Ransom For Files

By May 13, 2017March 1st, 2023Cybersecurity

The landscape of ransomware attacks is changing. When the malicious software first hit the internet a couple years back, it did so in a big way, primarily targeting large hospitals, insurance companies or other health-related businesses. These high-profile attacks temporarily paralyzed a number of companies, many of whom opted to simply pay the ransom to get their files back instead of wrestling with backup systems.

While those companies are still being targeted, this year, for the first time ever, hackers are beginning to go after individual targets with the software with devastating impact.
While it’s true that the payday for locking an individual user’s PC or smartphone is orders of magnitude smaller than a large corporation, the reality is that individuals are woefully unprepared for such an attack. They are much more likely to pay the toll to regain access to their files.

The security company Trustlook recently conducted a detailed survey of individuals and found that a staggering 45 percent of consumers didn’t even know what ransomware was, and even after they found out, a similar percentage said they weren’t worried about such an attack on their PC or phone.

To compound the problem, fully one quarter of individual users don’t make any sort of backup of either their PC or their smart devices. This means that if they are hit with a ransomware attack, literally their only chance of getting their files back is to just pay the fine and hope for the best, which is why a surprisingly high percentage of impacted individual users (38 percent) do exactly that.

There are a couple of important lessons to be learned from these statistics. First and foremost, if you don’t currently have a backup plan in place for your home PC or smartphone, you should probably make one, starting now.

Secondly, given the relatively high payout rate the hackers are seeing, this isn’t a problem that’s going to go away. Until individual users begin taking steps to better defend themselves and their personal data, hackers are going to keep going after them because they’re soft targets. Don’t be a soft target.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.