Small Businesses Fall Prey to Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are on the rise – and even small businesses are beginning to be victimized.The good news is that while cyber attacks are growing, so is the ability to take preventative measures.

A ransomware attack is when an unknown person puts malicious software remotely on your computer then charging a ransom to unlock your files. Ransom demands can be thousands of dollars – and crippling to a small business.

The complexity of attacks – and steps for prevention – may not be something the average business can dedicate staff resources and money to control. In addition, there’s a significant and growing cost for a business to maintain and keep an ever-increasing technology infrastructure secure.


The increasing role of Managed IT

The work involved in reducing the risk associated with cybersecurity attacks and maintaining the complex IT infrastructure that’s where managed IT services come in. In the past, outsourced services used to be only available to companies with deep pockets and of a size to make the investment make sense. But today, managed IT services have become important to businesses of all sizes, allowing business owners to concentrate on what they do best – the business of running their business.

A managed IT service essentially takes over responsibility for your IT infrastructure. It’s a growing industry as the cost of managed IT service drops and the sophistication of capabilities increases. 

Consider this: In recent years, how many new programs, websites, utility tools, and files have you allowed into your computer infrastructure. Each one of those could be the harbor for illicit ransomware activity. Safety from the growing threat is essential. It’s not just the more prominent companies targeted by the ransomware attacks – every company is at risk.  

Businesses can access top technical and industry expertise at a fraction of a cost. Technical resources are available on a fractional ownership basis in a subscription model where businesses can outsource their IT operations & focus on the core business area. 

Professional services like lawyers, doctors, accountants, insurance brokers, business consultants – even non-profits – are increasingly adopting Managed IT Services. 


Rise of Ransomware

The first ransomware attack occurred in 1989. By 2013 different types of Ransomware started to proliferate. In addition, we have seen progress in the skills and techniques of attackers. 

Today, Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is a subscription model where ransomware tools are already developed and ready to execute ransomware attacks even with limited/low technical knowledge. Additionally, this model of Ransomware is less risky for the ransomware/malware developer as the attack is purported by the buyer.

Ransomware attacks are now more focused on business rather than individuals as they have seen how easy it is to take advantage of security vulnerabilities. As a result, we have seen big & midsize businesses falling victim to Ransomware daily.

In the last couple of years, Ransomware has proven to be one of the most significant security challenges. It has taken the form of a safe business model for criminals as they perform an attack from a safe distance (virtually from anywhere). 

With increased security awareness within large enterprises, ransomware criminals have shifted their attention to small businesses.


Managed IT Services Catching Up

Information Technology has revolutionized the way we work & interact with each other. However, initially (in the old days) IT services were only available and accessible to big corporations/businesses only (as they only had the budget/money to afford it). Still, as time passes, things have changed, and now IT has become a part of our life. 

Knowingly or unknowingly, every business/organization is using IT in some way. The only difference between small, medium & large businesses is the weightage of their operations & their dependence on IT: big companies/corporations leverage technology to improve security, enhance flexibility and scalability, and reduce costs. 

Now technology is easily accessible to masses & lower cost in adopting the technology has lead to broader adoption of technology by business/organizations. Businesses have realized the benefits of the latest IT technology & they are ready/willing to spend resources/money on the technology & Managed IT Services. This led to the adoption of IT from big corporations/businesses to almost all the businesses. 

The market/world saw an opportunity & developed a huge market around the management of IT, which is easily accessible by everyone. IT Service Management is continuously evolving for the past 20 years & it has a long way to go.


Growing Together with Different End Goals

Managed IT Services is also evolving in parallel to Ransomware but with less limelight; as we all know, technology underpins nearly every one of our business systems: how we communicate, store and access our data, and how we manage our relationships with customers. Earlier, we discussed how big companies & corporations leverage technology to increase their efficiency & processes; now, even small businesses are increasingly using technology for the same reasons. 

The only constraint with small businesses using technology is the cost of operations; as a whole, technology products are pretty cost-efficient, but it becomes rather challenging to operate them in a safe and sound manner (in a recent cyber incident, companies got breached because they configured AWS cloud in a wrong way) without relevant technical expertise. 

Situations like these led to the evolution and adoption of Managed IT Services, where businesses can access top technical and industry expertise at a fraction of a cost. In addition, specialized technical resources are available on a fractional ownership basis in a subscription model where businesses can outsource their IT operations & focus on the core business area. 

Professional services like lawyers, doctors, accountants, insurance brokers, business consultants, and non-profit organizations are increasingly adopting Managed IT Services for managing their IT operations & infrastructure.

As seen in the case of Ransomware, as it gets popular, there are more individuals/organizations building Ransomware & selling it to criminal organizations or individuals willing to break the law. The same is happening with Managed IT services. Today, security and compliance is a major concern for all businesses. Therefore, they need a strong IT partner to help them reduce the risk of cyber attacks and have an efficient and reliable IT infrastructure. As per future forecast, the Managed IT services market will reach $354.8 billion by 2026, up from $242.9 billion in 2021; the only reason for this phenomenal growth is the wide acceptance of Managed IT Services by Small & Midsize businesses.

Cygnik Tech is a Managed IT Service Provider that helps businesses optimize the use of technology while balancing the implications to people and processes. We have spent more than a decade assisting clients to achieve success across the enterprise through digital transformation. We strongly believe an excellent customer experience is the key to success, and our goal is to ensure we exceed the client’s expectations. We have consultants with expertise in requirements gathering, analysis, and consultation to help businesses achieve digital transformation and minimize cyber risks using cloud service providers.