Imagine arriving at your office on a busy Monday morning to find your computer has been taken hostage by a criminal demanding a $700 ransom in exchange for returning your critical documents and data. You call the police who tell you there is nothing they can do for you. What would you do? How much time could your company afford to lose?

For the many businesses around the world who fall victim to ransomware every single day, this stressful scenario is a reality. As data is the nucleus of today’s businesses, ransomware has the potential to take out even the most stable businesses in a matter of minutes. While a growing number of companies are leveraging the recommended solutions for protection, such as backup and disaster recovery technologies, many are not. The latter group includes a large number of small businesses who typically operate from antiquated systems and without a dedicated IT expert in-house. Small businesses rely just as heavily on data as bigger organizations, yet they often operate without the proper data protections in place to defend against, prepare for, and recover from ransomware.

In the first three months of 2016 alone, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported ransomware attacks cost victims $209 million, a startling 780% increase from the total cost of all 12 months of 2015. And yet, the situation is so much larger than the FBI reports. As less than 1 in 4 incidents are actually reported to the authorities, FBI or otherwise, it’s clear that true numbers of incidents and costs are far higher. For the sophisticated hackers behind the virus, this year will be the most profitable year ever. Thanks to the anonymity provided by bitcoin currency, these cyber villains continue to operate without interruption or consequence, which means it’s likely the situation will get worse before it gets better.

In 2016, US small businesses will suffer between 8M and 17M hours of downtime due to ransomware, adding up to more than $75 Billion in expenses and lost productivity. To add some perspective to this number, that’s more than the combined GDP of Jamaica, Belize, Iceland, Cambodia and Nepal. That’s more than the cost of buying the world a Coke, ten Cokes in fact. That’s more than the cost of 300,000 round trips to outer space aboard Virgin’s Galactic Spaceship.

In order to fight back against the ransomware epidemic, businesses must first be aware of the true threat they face. Next, they must implement reliable solutions and best practices as advised by the IT service community and the authorities.

So what are the numbers? Datto recently surveyed nearly 1,100 managed service providers (MSPs) in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and around the world. Today, we published the key findings and takeaways in Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report.

With this report, we provide unique visibility into the current state of the malware from the perspective of the IT Channel and the small businesses who are dealing with ransomware infections on a daily basis. The report provides a wealth of detail into ransomware, including its frequency, the most common strains, the industries and systems most targeted, the impact, and the strategies and solutions necessary to ensure total data protection and business continuity in the face of the growing threat.

To learn more about Datto’s 2016 State of the Channel Ransomware Report or to learn best practices and solutions for ensuring total data protection for your business, read the full press release here or download the report here.