Cyber criminals operate outside of the law. There is no guarantee that if you pay the ransom, you will actually receive the promised decryption tool. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the decryptor tool will work. According to a report by the CyberEdge Group, 38.9% of businesses affected by ransomware paid the ransom but lost their data.
In addition, if you choose to pay the ransom, you may be targeted again in future as criminals know you are willing to pay.
Finally, there are ethical questions to consider. Paying the ransom may incentives more attacks as criminals know it is lucrative. You may therefore be perpetuating the ransomware cycle. It is suggested that paying demands has made ransomware so lucrative, it has led to ‘Ransomware as a Service’. This is where hackers have packaged turnkey ransomware kits, allowing criminals with little (or no) technical experience to easily launch their own ransomware attacks.
Protecting your systems by adopting a range of security measures is key. Equally important is having up-to-date backups, separate from your network, so your data can be easily retrieved and not held ransom.
We summarise our good practice recommendations below:
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