Small businesses repeatedly hit with ransomware because they can’t afford proper defence

Cyber criminals are actively targeting small businesses because of the scant resources they can dedicate to protecting the huge amount of data they have on their clients and employees.

That’s according to Kaspersky Lab, which has just published research showing that a third of businesses with a workforce of fewer than 50 people entrust IT security to employees who might not have the know-how necessary to combat prolific threats.

The report, which focuses on the impact of ransomware on small businesses, showed that when these firms fall prey to ransomware, they tend to be victimised again and again.

Of the small businesses that have suffered an incident in the past 12 months, 37 per cent have experienced two or three infections.

The disruption can be devastating, with over a quarter (27 per cent) losing access to their data for weeks, effectively crippling small firms and resulting in loss of income and reputational damage.

“When ransomware hits a business, it can have huge consequences, no matter the size of the business,” said Kaspersky Lab’s principal security researcher David Emm.

“Businesses on the smaller side are always more vulnerable to multiple incidents [because] in many small businesses, the IT provision is managed by people that perhaps don’t know how to best avert the dangers - they simply don’t have the time or IT skills to cope with the threats.”

Photo: Zephyr18/iStock

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