WatchGuard Blog

Ransomware attacks cost companies millions in 2023

Ranging from the process of recovering stolen data to having to hire legal services, a cyberattack generates a series of costs that companies have to face. 

According to an IBM report, the global average cost of a data breach reached $4.45 million in 2023, which represents an increase of 15% in three years. This seven-digit figure is clearly worrying. Million-dollar costs could place the future of a company in jeopardy as many simply don’t have the resources to deal with the repercussions of a ransomware incident. 

The high-profile MOVEit case shows just how serious the impacts of a data theft attack can be. This file transfer software business suffered a data storage breach, affecting more than 62 million users and more than 2,000 companies. It’s currently facing the costs of recovering from the attack and facing numerous lawsuits from those affected, which are magnifying the economic and reputational consequences.

This situation highlights the need to deploy robust preventive measures to stop potential ransomware attacks that put company data at risk. Investment in comprehensive and effective cybersecurity protection not only potentially saves organizations thousands of dollars but also helps ensure their permanence in the market. 

How to prevent data theft 

Considering the serious consequences of data theft for companies, relying on a cybersecurity protocol that protects sensitive company, partner, and customer information is crucial. Below, we outline solutions that help businesses protect their data effectively: 

  • Make backups periodically: 

    Make sure you keep copies or backups of confidential or sensitive information and store them in another storage system. This will enable you to recover damaged or stolen information faster, reducing the impact and cost of an attack significantly.

  • Invest in human capital: 

    Having a cybersecurity team equipped with the technical knowledge needed to protect a company can make a big difference in defending against threats. Outsourcing this service by hiring an MSP can be a useful option for companies that don't have the resources to build an in-house specialized team. 

  • Keep the VPN up to date: 

    As many businesses have implemented a hybrid or remote work model, the VPN is now an essential tool as it unifies a company's devices in a single private network regardless of their location. As the use of VPNs grows increasingly common in organizations, ensuring you apply the latest updates and patches, and in compliance with safety regulations, provides another layer of protection for your system.

  • Restrict access to sensitive information: 

    The more users who have access to sensitive data, the higher the likelihood of data exfiltration is. We recommend companies maintain control over access to internal files to reduce risks. Limiting access to those people who need that specific information to do their jobs is one way to control access to an organization's files, preventing unauthorized access. 

  • Assess endpoint security regularly: 

    According to data from our Threat Lab, endpoint attacks increased by 89% in the third quarter of 2023. Bad habits on the part of the team or the use of outdated software, among other reasons, make devices a gateway for cybercriminals to enter and compromise the cybersecurity of organizations. Effective and regular management of endpoint security must be a priority for businesses through implementing cutting-edge technology to protect against potential cyber risks.

In short, by investing in an effective cybersecurity system and ensuring that it is managed by a team of experts, companies can protect their systems and prevent data theft from compromising their operational, financial, and reputational stability.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect yourself against data theft, be sure to read our eBook on how to Escape from the Ransomware Maze or check out the following posts on our blog:

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