Content, Breach, Channel markets, Content, Ransomware, Small business

Datto Survey: Global Ransomware Attacks Against SMBs Soar in 2017


The number of ransomware attacks launched against small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) appears likely to increase in the years to come, according to a survey of more than 1,700 managed service providers (MSPs) conducted by backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions company Datto.

Datto's "State of the Channel Ransomware Report" for 2017 highlighted several SMB cybersecurity trends, such as:

  • Global ransomware attacks against SMBs are on the rise. Five percent of SMBs were victimized by ransomware attacks between the second quarters of 2016 and 2017. Also, 86 percent of MSPs said their SMB clients recently were victimized by ransomware, and 21 percent reported six or more SMB attacks in the first six months of 2017.
  • Cyberattacks likely will continue to plague SMBs over the next two years. Ninety-nine percent of MSPs said they believe the frequency of SMB targeted attacks will continue to increase over the next two years.
  • CryptoLocker ransomware attacks are prevalent among SMBs. Nearly 85 percent of MSPs said CryptoLocker was the most common variant identified in ransomware attacks against SMBs.
  • Most SMBs are in the dark regarding ransomware. Ninety percent of MSPs said they are "highly concerned" about the business threat of ransomware. Comparatively, only 38 percent of MSPs' SMB clients felt the same.

Ransomware can cause long-lasting damage to an SMB, its employees and its customers. Fortunately, MSPs that offer BDR solutions may help SMBs mitigate the effects of ransomware and other cyberattacks faster than ever before.

Why Are Ransomware Attacks Successful?

In addition to illustrating cybersecurity trends, the Datto survey provided insights into why ransomware attacks against SMBs are successful. The survey indicated that the primary reasons that ransomware attacks are successful included:

  • Lack of cybersecurity training.
  • Phishing emails.
  • Malicious websites/emails.
  • Outdated security patches.
  • Lack of defense solutions.

Ultimately, most employees today are largely unprepared to defend themselves against ransomware attacks, according to Datto. With a multilayered approach to ransomware attacks, SMBs may be able to identify and resolve these attacks before they escalate.

A multilayered approach to ransomware attacks should include the deployment of a BDR solution, employee training and antivirus software, Datto stated. Also, this approach may require the use of email or spam applications, patching applications and ad and pop-up blockers to ensure optimal ransomware attack protection.

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.