Ransomware, one of the most rapidly growing cyber menaces, threatens businesses and organizations throughout the world. With the hackers using more advanced and sophisticated techniques to develop the ransomware, it simultaneously becomes an arduous job for victims to deal with the complicated malware removal and the ever-rising costs of ransomware recovery. In fact, according to reports, the average ransomware recovery cost more than doubled in 2019.
Victims of the malware have to deal with a wide array of costs, not just in the form of ransom that needs to be paid to rid the system of ransomware, but other miscellaneous costs that are entailed.
In most cases, the cost of recovering from a ransomware attack far exceeds the extortion payment. Projecting these costs can be complicated due to numerous other costs associated, such as repair and replacement, downtime costs, IT costs as well as the cost of data breaches that might occur along with the ruptured reputation of the victim organization.
Paying the ransom demanded to attain the decryption key and regain access to files held hostage accounts to a considerable cost to the organization. However, security and law enforcement agencies are totally against the idea of paying ransom, since it boosts the ransomware attacks, and it is not always the most reliable way to recover crucial data.
However, many organizations prefer to pay the ransom since the recovery costs tend to be much higher than the ransom demanded. Due to these indirect costs, the organizations have to face immense financial repercussions for a long time.
Organizations have to face downtime costs as a result of lost business opportunities that arise during the time it is in-operational. The computers and servers need to be restored to function efficiently. There is a disruption in its production and distribution activities, resulting in the customers’ orders being delayed. Critical business meetings have to be postponed, and the timeline is significantly affected. These costs tend to be much higher than the actual ransom amount and cause considerable losses to the business.
Due to the organization suffering from downtime, it’s revenue generation is also significantly impacted.
Hiring additional personnel:
The victim organization also needs to hire additional personnel to resolve IT, administrative, and technical issues. Security officials and law enforcement agencies need to be hired to terminate the malware and ensure that it doesn’t relapse. The remuneration of the additional staff hired would depend on the size of the victim organization as well as the complexity of the attack.
Moreover, restoring the system and recovering from the attack may divert the IT and administrative employees’ attention from their regular duties, causing a dramatic loss in worker productivity, thereby affecting the output. The employees may have to work overtime, further accumulating to the costs.
Once the system is disinfected with the malware, the operating systems and security software need to be reinstalled and upgraded, hard drives and other applications need to be installed, and data needs to be recovered. The system needs to be completely restored, and the IT infrastructure refreshed. Therefore, the organization has to allocate its budget accordingly to bring back the systems in line.
The reputation of an organization is of core importance. The damage a ransomware attack may cause is immeasurable. Potential customers might be reluctant to conduct business with it due to the data breaches as the organization’s reliability and trustworthiness become questionable, and they tend to view the company as unprofessional since they cannot protect their own files. This has an inverse effect on the sales of the business.
Additionally, the organization is forced to take preventative measures to mitigate any chances of attacks. Cyber insurance is one effective way of dealing with the situation and protecting itself from ransomware and other cyber threats. However, this involves paying high insurance and premium charges, which prove to be an additional cost.
Ransomware attacks undoubtedly come with huge costs, both direct and indirect. The company, therefore, needs to decide which alternative to choose to minimize ransomware recovery costs and resume normal operations at the earliest.