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Datto puts the focus on ransomware as it kicks off global partner programme

The growth in ransomware infections in the SME community has led to Datto focusing on the issue at Cloud Expo and in its partner programme

Data protection specialist Datto is highlighting the risks of ransomware encouraging its partners to react to one of the biggest current challenges for small businesses.

The vendor has released some reasearch on the extent of the ransomware problem and is providing partners with more educational tools to help users deal with the issue.

Andrew Stuart, managing director EMEA at Datto, said that it viewed the ransomware problem as the biggest data protection challenge that customers were dealing with and was stepping up its activity in the area.

The Datto survey found that many small firms were being targeted by ransomware attacks, in some cases multiple times in a 12 month period. Because of the high numbers of customers that paid out the ransom demands it was becoming one of the main weapons used by cyber criminals.

"The statistics are shocking and there are a significant number of businesses paying out ransoms against advice. They aren't really educating themselves or taking the necessary steps to broadly protect themselves against the attacks, even when they have been attacked multiple times," he said.

"It's not if a business is going to be hit by a breach or a ransomware infection it's when," he added that many customers were still not alerting their staff to the potential dangers that organisations face.

The Datto survey found that the average payout was between £500 to £2,000, which hurt small firms and there were no gurantees that when someone paid they would be given the right keys and information back.

The vendor was using its presence at Cloud Expo to promote the dangers of ransomware and to encourage partners to get up to speed on the problem and the solutions.

At the same time the firm has ushered in a global partner programme that will support MSPs that work with the vendor. One of the key elements of the scheme is the MarketNow platform that provides marketing support for the channel.

"We have identified that a lot of our MSP partners did not have marketing expertise or strong investment in marketing systems so we can augment that with a platform with pre-built campaigns, one of which will be ransomware," said Stuart.

"We focus on provding good technology for MSPs as well as giving them help growing their business," he added that it was looking to grow its partner base but  prospective additions had to be a good fit and come with strong services capabilities.

The other features of the global partner programme, which is meant to deliver more of a local flavour and not just a US dominated scheme, include the firm opening an experience centre in its Reading HQ that MSPs can use to show off the technology to customers.

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