Experts make fuss about ransomware, businesses ignore the danger

Ngoc Huynh

VietNamNet Bridge – Experts have repeatedly issued warnings about ransomware after the WannaCry attack. However, the majority of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) don’t believe they need to take serious measures to prevent problems.

Ngo Tran Vu, director of Nam Truong Son Security, said the number of businesses having interest in anti-virus software increased by 30 percent after the WannaCry attack and the number of calls to Nam Truong Son for consultancy has increased sharply.

However, this shows that businesses have only begun to think of security solutions after cyberattacks.

The IT officer of a steel company said his suggestion of hiring consultancy experts and applying security solutions has been rejected by the company’s management board because the managers believe it is not necessary for a small business.

“They think SMEs won’t be the aiming points for hackers, and in case we are attacked, the damages would not be big,” he said.

There are many reasons for owners of SMEs to refuse to spend money on security solutions. “If we are attacked, we will just have to reset the computers,” a representative of a food company in HCMC said.

Meanwhile, many business owners believe that if their computers become the victim of ransomware, their IT officers will be able to decrypt to recover data, so there is no need to spend a lot of money on security solutions.

Others believe that ransomware occurs in other countries, not Vietnam. Even if ransomware attacks computers in Vietnam, there is no no need to worry. They will just spend money to buy new computers.

Security experts said when working with SMEs, they discovered a lot of dangerous vulnerabilities in their information systems.

Meanwhile, the enterprises don’t have security officers, but only have officers to fix computers and install operating systems. Most SMEs don’t care about backups, though they have important documents such as contracts with clients or tax refund dossiers.

There have been no official statistics about damages caused by WannaCry because individuals and institutions don’t want to report about damages.

Kaspersky Lab Vietnam believes that 42 percent of SMEs were attacked by ransomware in 2016, 32 percent of which had to pay a ransom and 20 percent could not get back data after paying ransom.

At least 67 percent of enterprises affected by ransomware lost a part or all of their data. The number of attacks to enterprises increased by threefold in mid-January and late September 2016. There was one attack every two minutes in the past and one attack every 40 seconds now.

The lack of cautiousness of companies’ staff and the indifference of enterprises to security solutions is one of the major reasons behind the data loss.

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