MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Intermedia, a one-stop shop for cloud IT services, today released its 2016 Crypto-Ransomware Report, which surveyed nearly 300 expert IT consultants for their perspectives on the scope and costs of this trending malware.
The experts' opinions contradicted conventional wisdom regarding the threat associated with ransomware: business downtime was ranked as a far bigger cost than the ransom itself.
The survey also found that ransomware is affecting bigger businesses and multiple victims within each business.
Intermedia's report offers advice on ransomware prevention, containment and business continuity planning. It can be accessed at Intermedia.net/Ransomware.
Key Finding #1: Downtime is more detrimental than ransom costs
A ransomware outbreak creates two hard choices for businesses: Either spend multiple days recovering locked files from backups, or pay ransom to an organized crime syndicate.
In either scenario, though, businesses are likely to face significant user downtime that overshadows the cost of the ransom. 72 percent of infected business users could not access their data for at least two days following a ransomware outbreak, and 32 percent lost access for five days or more.
As a result, experts observed significant data recovery costs, reduced customer satisfaction, missed deadlines, lost sales and, in many cases, traumatized employees.
This widely observed downtime implies that few companies possess a business continuity solution for a ransomware outbreak. Such a solution enables users to remain productive during a ransomware outbreak. It offers the capabilities to instantly roll back an archive of files to their uninfected state and to immediately access those clean files from alternate devices.
Richard Walters, SVP of Security Products at Intermedia, stated, "In the age of ransomware, what matters is how quickly employees are able to get back to work. Traditional backup and file sharing solutions are increasingly inadequate when it comes to addressing this growing concern, putting businesses at risk. Modern business continuity solutions that combine real-time backup, mass file restores and remote access combat threats by minimizing the crippling effects of downtime."
Key Finding #2: Ransomware is targeting bigger businesses
Ransomware should no longer be seen solely as a threat to individuals and small businesses. Nearly 60 percent of businesses hit by ransomware had more than 100 employees, and 25 percent were enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.
What's more, the virus was observed propagating rapidly within corporate networks: 86 percent of outbreaks affected two or more employees, and 47 percent spread to more than 20 people.
Felix Yanko, President at Technology & Beyond, added, "The world is becoming more cyber-aware, but ransomware's depravity keeps it three steps ahead. CryptoLocker, for instance, will take down multiple offices in one sweep, should it infect a shared server. A business that tries to restore from a ransomware attack off of traditional backup usually loses weeks of work due to lost files, plus a day or more of downtime while computers are wiped and reloaded. Companies must have measures in place to mitigate the devastation of ransomware."
Key Finding #3: Ransomware is a growth industry
The threat of ransomware is rapidly growing. According to Intermedia's report, 43 percent of IT consultants have had their customers fall victim to ransomware, 48 percent saw an increase in ransomware-related support inquiries and 59 percent expect the number of attacks to increase this year.
Walter Chamblee, Director of Information Technology at Signaturefd.com, said, "Ransomware attacks are on the rise and are growing in complexity. Without the right protection measures in place, ransomware can be majorly disruptive to a business. In these cases, it's the user downtime and the hassle for IT that's far costlier, even if you pay the ransom."
To view Intermedia's complete ransomware report, visit Intermedia.net/Ransomware.
Intermedia is a one-stop shop for cloud business applications. Its Office in the Cloud™ suite integrates 30 essential IT services businesses need to do business—including email, voice, 2-in-1 file backup and sharing, conferencing, instant messaging, identity and access management, mobility, security and archiving.
Intermedia's services are integrated, secure, mobile-ready and managed from a single control panel—which makes the cloud easier to use and more efficient to manage. All the services offer enterprise-grade security, 99.999% uptime service level agreement and 24/7 phone support with typical hold times of less than 60 seconds.
Intermedia has over 700 employees who work relentlessly to provide more than 70,000 business customers and 6,000 active partners with a Worry-free Experience™.
For more information, visit Intermedia.net.
 This study was commissioned by Intermedia and executed by Researchscape International, a market-research consultancy. Researchscape surveyed 275 IT consultants and security experts using an online survey fielded from Jan. 15-30, 2016. Respondents were recruited via third-party panels. Only one response was permitted per respondent, even if they were a member of multiple panels.