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Datto Cybersecurity Report: Ransomware Top SMB Cyber Threat

Ransomware was the top cyber threat for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the third quarter of 2020, according to the "Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report" from Datto.

In the report, 60 percent of MSPs indicated that their SMB customers experienced ransomware attacks in 3Q20, the average cost of downtime associated with these attacks rose 94 percent year over year to $274,200 and downtime costs related to ransomware are 50 times greater than the ransom requested.

Other notable findings from Datto's report included:

  • 95 percent of MSPs said their business faces an increased risk of a ransomware attack.
  • 92 percent predicted ransomware attacks will continue at current or worse rates.
  • 91 percent stated that customers using business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions are less likely to experience significant downtime during a ransomware attack.
  • 59 percent said remote work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in an increase in ransomware attacks.
  • 50 percent noted customers increased their IT security budgets this year.
  • 46 percent have partnered with MSSPs to protect their customers and their own business against ransomware attacks.
  • Phishing emails (54 percent) were the most successful ransomware attack vector.
  • Hackers most frequently used ransomware to target Windows endpoint system applications (91 percent).

Datto also provided the following recommendations to help MSPs and SMBs guard against ransomware attacks:

  • Use multiple security solutions. A multi-layered approach to cybersecurity can help MSPs and SMBs protect against ransomware attacks across a variety of vectors.
  • Teach employees about cybersecurity. With cybersecurity training, MSPs and SMBs can educate their workers about ransomware attacks, so these employees are well-equipped to identify these attacks before they lead to downtime and data breaches.
  • Develop a continuity strategy. Ransomware attacks are ongoing, but MSPs and SMBs can use a continuity strategy to ensure that they can quickly recover their critical systems following a ransomware attack.

Additional research reinforces the ongoing threat that ransomware represents to businesses and IT networks. About 40 publicized ransomware attacks took place in October 2020, more than any other month this year, according to research from BlackFog, a Top 250 MSSP. If MSPs and SMBs continue to prioritize cybersecurity, they can take steps to protect against ransomware attacks and limit the risks associated with them.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.