Spokesperson: Rob Rae, Vice President, Datto
Data&StorageAsean: What can the reseller channel draw from the report?
Rob Rae: This is the second iteration of Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report, revealing that Ransomware is an increasing risk for SMBs in Asia-Pacific and across the world. We know from the results that although resellers are very aware of this increasing threat, there is still relatively low knowledge, understanding and concern from business owners, with only 38 percent of SMBs indicating ‘some knowledge’ of ransomware, compared with 34 percent last year.
Data&StorageAsean: What opportunities does it highlight for them and how do they capitalise on this?
Rob Rae: While large organisations across the world spend millions of dollars investing in cyber security products and training for their teams, SMBs do not have this luxury. This is where the channel comes in. There’s an opportunity for resellers to bridge this gap, by providing the education necessary to help SMBs fend off attack.
For resellers, it’s a great conversation to have with prospects and an excellent way to provide added value to your current client base.
Data&StorageAsean: What is driving the higher number of ransomware attacks in APAC?
Rob Rae: Put simply, money. There are millions of SMBs across the region that are attractive targets for ransomware attacks. Research shows that most ransomware attacks we are seeing today are asking for ransoms of USD$2,000 or less. This might seem like pigeon feed, but when attackers are targeting hundreds of SMBs, this figure soon adds up, making this strategy a very lucrative undertaking for attackers.
Data&StorageAsean: What are your views on the high rates of payment in APAC?
Rob Rae: When SMBs are attacked, it’s common for them to panic and pay the ransom to retrieve their data. This however is the worst thing you can do, sending the wrong message to attackers. Again, this is where the channel can work to educate business owners.
Data&StorageAsean: Were there any results that surprised you?
Rob Rae: The 2017 report shows a 15 percent increase in the number of repeat attacks targeting the same businesses. This is where a business pays the ransom and attackers come back time and time again. We call this cyber extortion, and it is a worrying trend.
Data&StorageAsean: What most concerned you about the results?
Rob Rae: That awareness of ransomware among SMBs is still very low. The problem is that even in the wake of monumental global attacks like WannaCry and NotPetya, it’s always the larger enterprises which have been affected making headlines, rather than SMBs, which means that they are still easy pickings for attackers.
Data&StorageAsean: What is your key message for the end user market in APAC? Are there any ways to resolve the issue?
Rob Rae: SMBs need to stop paying the ransom, and the channel needs to educate them on this point. When businesses pay the ransom, they confirm that they have money and that they value their data, which is dangerous and could see them being targeted again and again. Secondly, it’s important to know that paying the ransom does not mean that you will regain access to your data, in most cases it is the opposite.
Ransomware continues to outsmart today’s top security solutions, making backup and disaster recovery essential. The survey results showed that with a reliable backup and recovery solution (BDR) in place, 96 percent of MSPs reported that clients were able to fully recover from a ransomware attack.
The truth is, even if businesses apply best practices to limit the impact of ransomware attacks, like backing-up critical files, ensuring they have a good cybersecurity solution in place, and ensuring they are patching their system appropriately, none of these things is going to restore their systems to get back up and running in the fastest possible way following an attack. The most effective means for business protection from ransomware is a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, followed by cybersecurity training.