The Top Five Industries Targeted with Ransomware

The Top Five Industries Targeted with Ransomware

By Courtney Heinbach

Ransomware has been on the rise for years, but 2020 and 2021 have ushered in a new level of threat and frequency as criminals shift their focus from large enterprises to small-medium businesses (SMBs). Managed service providers (MSPs) are seeing the dreaded ransomware scenario complete with business disruption and downtime all too often. So, what’s opening up these businesses to the threat of ransomware?

First, cybercriminals are targeting industries that lack security infrastructure and IT resources. They’re also zeroing in on organizations where there is an extensive amount of personal and confidential information on file. This is purposeful as they hope to expose this data or extract a larger ransom payment for returning it due to the sensitive nature of the information. They’re also after industries where they can cause the most disruption and chaos, as in the example of the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack or the increasing threat to utility companies where power outages could cause potential harm to millions.

Ransomware hackers are targeting critical industries

According to MSPs surveyed in our annual State of the Channel Ransomware Report, the top industries they see targeted against ransomware are healthcare, finance/insurance, government agencies, professional services, and education. 59% of MSPs also reported that remote work has resulted in increased ransomware attacks along with 52% of MSPs reporting that shifting client workloads to the cloud came with increased security vulnerabilities.

Downtime is far more costly than the ransom

When it comes to ransomware, the attack isn’t what businesses should fear the most, but rather the downtime that will likely result in the aftermath of the attack. MSPs report the cost of downtime is nearly 50X greater than the ransom requested. According to Help Net Security, the duration of downtime after a ransomware incident duration has increased to 23 days.

The Top Five Industries Targeted with Ransomware

MSPs also reported that the average downtime cost per incident has increased by 94% from 2019 and a staggering 486% from 2018.

The Top Five Industries Targeted with Ransomware

How businesses can prepare for ransomware

To avoid the loss of business productivity and counter the prospect of business-threatening downtime, businesses should consider solutions like business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) and cloud-to-cloud backup that can help restore business data quickly are proven and effective ways to be proactive against the threat of downtime from ransomware.

In fact, 91% of MSPs surveyed in our global State of the Channel Ransomware Report said clients with a BCDR solution in place are less likely to experience significant downtime as a result of a ransomware attack.

Interested in showing your clients what their potential downtime cost might be? Check out our Recovery Time and Downtime Cost Calculator. Take a look at our full State of the Channel Ransomware Report for more information on ransomware’s impact on the MSP channel.

Datto’s Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report

Ransomware is a growing problem for businesses of all sizes. In our annual report, learn about the risks MSPs and the channel face, and how businesses are working to combat ransomware.

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