Ransomware education still needed from the channel

Research from Datto reveals that SMEs across Europe are struggling to fend off cyber attacks

One of the major security threats of last year was ransomware and inevitably that meant plenty of work for the channel having to deal with the sharp end of customer concerns.

The problem was widespread and the latest State of the channel Ransomware report from Datto indicated that 89% of European MSP customers were victims of the attacks.

The attacks led to downtime and for a small percentage the ransomware remained in the system and gave the customer further problems down the line.

Anti virus software does not appear to cut the mustard with protecting against ransomware and 94% of customers attacked said it had not prevented the attacks from happening.

The other problem area for users was around backup and restore. Those that had failed to make an investment in that technology left with serious headaches trying to get back up and running after a ransomware attack.

The message for the channel from Datto was that first and foremost the education to the SME community had to continue.

“Ransomware attacks are becoming so frequent that the term has recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. WannaCry and NotPetya made the headlines last year for their impact on larger firms, but this report highlights just how vulnerable SMBs are," said Mark Banfield, svp at Datto.

"There’s an existing perception that only bigger companies are targeted as they represent higher-value targets, but attacks are now so simple to initiate on a mass scale that cybercriminals no longer discriminate," he added.

Most of the customers surveyed by Datto also shared their expectations that ransomware attacks would continue in the next couple of years.

“As the sophistication of ransomware variants continues to increase and they bypass traditional prevention measures, SMBs with limited in-house expertise and cybersecurity tools are struggling. The lack of understanding and capabilities are causing more to fall victim and here lies an opportunity for the channel. MSPs can become trusted partners, providing the ongoing tools, expertise and support required to mitigate ransomware and its impacts," said Banfield.

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