By Neal Bradbury, Senior Director of Channel Development, Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda
The concept of ransomware is not new — it has been a part of the cyber threat landscape for more than 20 years. But, what makes it important to today’s cyber-security conversation is the emergence of “crypto” ransomware, i.e. CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, Locky, TeslaCrypt, and more recently Cerber.
Data taken from several industry sources in 2015 showed ransomware attacks growing upwards of 50 percent compared to 2014, and individuals weren’t the only targets. Businesses are frequently being targeted by ransomware because they are often more willing to pay to get their data back, making it a lucrative way for cybercriminals to cash in. A recent FBI report, for example, found ransomware attacks netted $200 million in the first three months of 2016 suggesting this form of cybercrime has the potential to generate more than a billion dollars in revenue by the end of this year.
Ransomware may be big business for cybercriminals, but savvy MSPs can also grow their revenues and drive sales of backup and data recovery (BDR) solutions when they have meaningful conversations that successfully demonstrate the true value of data protection to their customers. And, thanks to greater awareness around the value of data, it’s not a difficult conversation to have. Most organizations already understand the potential impact of data loss on their business.
Here are a few common truths about ransomware that MSPs can leverage to help close the deal:
- It’s not a matter of if, but when an attack will occur. Businesses should understand backing up their data on a regular basis could minimize risk and loss in the event of a ransomware attack by keeping them from having to payout on a ransom request.
- Don't throw good money after bad. The cost of a ransom payout may seem trivial compared to the time, effort, and cost associated with recovering lost data, but over the long term costs will go up as hackers become more sophisticated and seek out higher value targets.
- Data management hygiene matters. Businesses should test data backups on a regular basis to eliminate any backup failures, support best practices for data management, and ensure that files can be recovered in the event of a ransomware attack.
With ransomware on the rise, the reality is that BDR is no longer a best practice — it is a necessity for all businesses, regardless of size or vertical focus.
Beyond the sale of a BDR solution, MSPs can add more value for their customers by educating them on how they can protect themselves from an attack by knowing how to spot a phishing e-mail or other malicious content; disabling macros on Microsoft Office programs; and keeping antivirus and security programs up to date.
As the old adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this could not be truer than in the case of ransomware.
Neal Bradbury is Senior Director of Business Development for Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda, a provider of backup and data protection solutions for managed services providers, where he is responsible for generating greater business value for the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners.