This guide features a full breakdown of ransomware recovery costs in 2021. If you and your organization have become a victim of a cyber attack and you are wondering what will be the cost of recovering from it, keep on reading. It’s crucial that you know all this prior to the unfortunate incident.
Worldwide, the cost of recovering from a ransomware attack is based on multiple factors. They include downtime, network costs, ransom paid, people hours, lost opportunities, and more. In 2021, the average cost of Ransomware Recovery added up to $1.85 million. These cyber-attacks are becoming more intense and ransom payments are doubling each year.
A ransomware recovery involves complex methods depending on the nature of the attack and the size of your organization. It features potential hidden costs as well. It’s very important that you are familiar with every aspect of it to make an informed decision. Let’s break it down, so you can find out the suitable budget for your organization.
The Cost of Ransomware Recovery
The cost of recovering from a ransomware attack and getting the business back on its feet depends on multiple factors. For instance, your country and region, the scale of your organization, type, and severity of ransomware attack. This also includes labor, downtime, network cost, and much more.
Back in 2020, the average Ransomware Recovery cost was just around $600,000. You can see that this cost is increasing with time and it’s almost $2 million in 2021. Let’s take a look at this range of factors that we mentioned above.
Factors Affecting The Cost of Ransomware Recovery
All organizations should be familiar with these factors. This knowledge will assist them in keeping the budget in check. So, if they encounter any unfortunate situation, they have everything they need to get back on track.
The first thing that ransomware recovery requires is an assessment and evaluation of your affected systems. It can cost the big organizations up to $5,000. But there are some cybersecurity service providers that cost much less.
It depends on the scale of a ransomware attack. The assessment and evaluation occur on holidays or after working hours.
Number of encrypted systems
To recover the organization’s data, the process includes decrypting, monitoring, and much more. So, if the virus has made its way to more systems, it will take more resources and time which will cost more.
Analyzing everything before going for recovery can be handy. You need to find and know about all your affected systems and servers. It will help both you and the ransomware recovery service provider to keep up with the scope and get the business back on track.
If you have no idea about the numbers of your encrypted systems, some service providers may play you for a fool. They can cost you more or leave their job unfinished. That’s why it is necessary to have a bit of technical knowledge on your end.
Ransom Risk is one of the crucial factors that all the CEOs and CTOs of organizations need to be familiar with. During the recovery, you will be dealing with the Cyber Threat Actor (CTA) characterized by the malicious company or gang. They can give you some faulty instructions and perhaps, you’ll end up in more trouble in terms of money.
You need to get in touch with the ransomware recovery experts. A cybersecurity provider can help your organization get back to business by informing you extensively about all these ransom risks. They can also provide Ransomware Forensics to discover how the attack happened and how to prevent it from happening again.
Some risks are explained here. For instance, a CTA won’t provide the decryption key. It can be a faulty or bad key/decryptor. Even if they decrypt your files, they are still unusable and corrupted. If you pay the ransomware fee, they will ask for more.
Type of Ransomware
There are some complex types and variants of ransomware. They require more resources, time, and attention to recover. Let’s take a look at a few of those types.
The variant which is considered easy to crack and decrypt goes by the name of Sodinokibi. In this type of ransomware attack, the recovery is faster as the decryption keys are found inside an executable program.
Dharma and Phobos
There are other two variants that are far more complex to recover. They are known as Dharma and Phobos. These two types involve the private and public encryption keys in which you need to scan the public one and enter the private key manually.
Considering the above facts, the type of ransomware attack has a big say in the cost of its recovery.
Speed of Service
The speed of service is yet another important factor in deciding the cost of ransomware recovery. Most service providers offer have various cybersecurity costs and packages available.
If you need to have your data decrypted in an emergency, then obviously it will be going to cost you more. It depends on how quickly you need your data back. While it may vary from company to company, it can take 3-5 business days to get your data back on average.
Some Hidden Ransomware Damage Costs
What we have discussed so far concludes the obvious factors of ransomware recovery cost. But there are many more hidden issues that you may not be aware of. Let’s break them down as well.
The downtime caused by ransomware may be extremely disruptive. This is not limited to business only. For six days, the Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack cut off gasoline supplies to nearly half of the East Coast. Hospitals in Vermont were turning away patients after an attack on a health center.
Besides, more than 100,000 pupils were forced to miss school as a result of an attack on Baltimore County Public Schools. The average downtime in Q2 2021, according to Coveware, was more than three weeks. When determining the genuine cost of ransomware recovery, this time should be taken into account.
Colonial claimed they were able to restore service six days after the attack. But CEO Joseph Blount testified to Congress more than a month later that recovery was still underway. For a period of time, the majority, if not all, of a small business's efforts will be dedicated to recovery.
The IT staff will obviously be focused on getting systems back in action. The other aspects of the business will also be completely dominated. Crisis communications will be handled by the marketing and communications departments.
The financial staff will be involved in the ransom talks. Employee queries and complaints will be handled by human resources. These are a few of the factors that you need to be familiar with while finding the actual cost of ransomware recovery.
Strong Cybersecurity Protection
To avoid getting hit by a cyberattack in the future, you will need to extend your resources. You will need to improve your systems, servers, and go for layer-by-layer protection. Doing all this will cost you more.
To detect the cyberattack prior to its worst condition, you will need to apply certain machine learning algorithms. Your organization will have to improve the cybersecurity team. All these methods will force you to bring more resources. Thus, strong cybersecurity protection.
One of the harsh truths of getting hit by ransomware is that it puts organizations vulnerable to future cyber attacks. When firms pay hackers, they do not always follow their promises. In fact, if you pay them, you are giving them a signal that you're an easy target. This conduct was formerly uncommon, but in 2021 it has grown increasingly.
So, you need to keep your systems and servers in check against repeated attacks. There are some companies that ended up paying a second time. You need to avoid this situation at all costs or you’ll go bankrupt.
Legal Defense and Settlements
Victims of cyberattacks should expect to hear from attorneys of their consumers and customers. After ransomware, Scripps Health, a San Diego medical system, was slammed with many class-action lawsuits (Washington Post).
Target and Home Depot, for example, each paid tens of millions of dollars in settlements after data breaches. Perhaps your information security measures might hold up in court. But the article argues that for most businesses, settling is less expensive than fighting a long legal battle.
Lost Reputation and Lost Business
Ransomware attacks on a large scale are business killers. It’s a bad time for you and your customers as well. If this unfortunate incident is not handled well, you will end up losing your customers.
You will fall under critical observation and examination all the time. People will lose trust in your company. This knowledge should motivate you to be prepared for any bad situation. Lost reputation and lost business and that’s how you lose more money.
All these factors are to be taken quite seriously. You can’t leave any of these unattended. If you want your organization to strive in this digital era, you need to have your resources.
As we have seen, the above number suggests that the ransomware recovery cost isn’t cheap. If you were to pay such expenses out of your own pocket, it would certainly not be an ideal situation for you.
So, get in touch with your cyber security insurance provider and find out about their current policies. It’s better to have insurance for extortion, business interruption, computer data loss, and recovery.
If you have insurance and coverage for network security and information privacy, it will be ideal for you. It can help you reduce all your finance and ransomware recovery costs by a margin.
Doing Ransomware Recovery Yourself?
There’s always an option of handling all your problems yourself. But, is recovering from a ransomware attack by yourself a good option for you? Well, if you don't have an experienced IT team, you could consider doing it yourself.
Doing it yourself will reduce the ransomware recovery cost to a minimum. You will be relying on your resources, you will have a better understanding of your affected systems and servers.
But if you don't have the technical expertise, you should consider outsourcing your cybersecurity needs. Let the experts who provide cyber security services handle all your problems and have your CTO deal with them.
Considering this breakdown of ransomware recovery costs, we can conclude that it’s certainly not cheap. But we can’t ignore this either. Ransomware attacks are increasing day by day and organizations are more vulnerable than ever. Here’s a summary of this whole breakdown.
- You should definitely allocate enough money for ransomware recovery costs.
- After the cyberattack, make sure that you get back on track but make informed decisions along the way.
- Hire the ransomware recovery specialist.
- Notify law enforcement agencies about ransomware attacks.
- Give more focus on the hidden factors affecting the ransomware recovery cost.