Small businesses are still in the crosshairs of cyber attackers. While ransomware may not be in the headlines on a daily basis, that in no way indicates that the threat of ransomware to take down a small business has diminished.

In fact, the reality is just the opposite. SonicWall released a report that shows a huge spike in ransomware activity in the first half of 2018. Here are some stats that warrant attention from small business leaders:

In the first half of 2018, there were 5.99 billion malware attacks (102 percent increase of the first half of 2017).

Over that same period of time, 181.5 million ransomware attacks occurred (229 percent increase over the same time period in 2017).

Issues related to large-scale vulnerabilities such as WannaCry are part of the reason why the attack numbers are rising dramatically. While there were huge news stories related to Meltdown and Spectre back in January of this year, there haven’t been large-scale attacks detected using those vulnerabilities.

Encryption use is growing for legitimate traffic which is expected as organizations ramp up efforts to protect information. However, malware attacks using encryption are increasing at an even faster clip. Ultimately, encrypted attacks will become the standard for malware delivery and that will happen sooner than later. The result of that will be further evolution of the inspection of encrypted internet traffic.

Chad Sweet, CEO of The Chertoff Group, explains the landscape this way: “Real-time cyber threat intelligence is more critical than ever as cybercriminals continue to find new attack vectors — like encrypted and chip-based attacks. To stay protected in the cyber arms race, organizations must use every tool in their security toolbox, particularly technology that delivers the necessary visibility to enhance an organization’s security posture.”

Chad points out what every small business owner needs to understand: to protect your business, you need to use every tool in your security toolbox. If you don’t have a security toolbox, Responsive can help you get started and help protect your small business.