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Could your business survive 21 days of downtime?

Business disruption

All of our businesses have suffered a fair degree of disruption in recent years as we responded to the effects of the pandemic.

But what would be the effect of losing access to all of your critical business data for 21 days?

The effect is quite likely to be devastating rather than disruptive.

Three weeks of missed deadlines, unanswered enquiries, missed payments, unfulfilled orders, and broken promises. SLAs would be torn to shreds, customer trust will be lost, revenue left unrealised and reputation severely shattered.

21 days downtime

21 days is not a random time-frame for this imagined, unscheduled downtime it is the average length of time that it takes a business to recover after a ransomware attack.

It is par for the course – it is what you should expect.

And, forget what the lurid headlines are telling you: it is not the ransom payments that will really hurt your business. The downtime and the loss of reputation  will hit you the hardest.

According to the latest Sophos research, downtime is the most costly aspect of a ransomware attack, typically costing 10 times the amount of any ransom.

The study also found that the average cost of recovery from a ransomware attack had doubled over the last year, rising from £619,000 to at £1.5 million.


It could happen to you

Among the boards of SMEs there still exists a certain sense of ‘it won’t happen to us’.

This is particularly the case from those operating in less data-sensitive sectors than, say, the legal profession or finance.

But this is very much a false sense of security.

It rests on the belief that your data is not worth much to a criminal hacker. The question, however, is not what your data would be worth to others but what your data – and unrestricted access to it – is worth to you.


What would you pay to get your business back up and running in, say, a week rather than three?

And this is why the vast majority (82%) of UK businesses infected with ransomware ultimately pay the ransom: to reduce crippling downtime.


Ransomware attacks continue to increase – with more and more of them now aimed at small businesses with more vulnerabilities and less ability to weather a downtime storm.

The government’s 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Survey notes that 39% of small businesses have discovered at least one breach in the past year.

Many of these will not have the procedures in place to recover their systems.

As Gartner noted in a recent blog: ‘The first time that most organizations test restore is after they’ve been hit by ransomware. And that is the single biggest factor in whether it devastates the organization or takes a couple of hours to clean up.’


A recent analysis of the sectors that are being targeted suggested that, while some were more vulnerable than others, the main takeaway was that no organisation is safe.

Chris Silva at Gartner explains the logic that has led to every business representing a potential win for criminals:

‘Everybody’s a target. Ransomware gangs are businesses. What they really seem to be looking at is where they can expect the maximum financial impact and this might mean a single, massive attack on a natural gas pipeline or many attacks spread across dozens of small businesses.’


Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (M-EDR)

Managed EDR offers a very effective way to lower the damage, cost and reputational loss from cyberattacks.

This next-gen anti-virus platform is designed to tackle the most sophisticated ransomware attacks. It uses a dedicated team of analysts, backed up by sophisticated tech, to constantly monitor all your endpoints against a variety of attacks. Enhanced monitoring at the device level spots intrusion early and isolates compromised devices quickly.

This rapid response stops targeted attacks before damage to systems and loss of data occurs. It gives you the breathing space needed to fully recover your system – with minimal downtime – and it significantly reduces the cost, time, and effort in dealing with the fall-out from a cyberattack.


On the radar

Your business is under active threat and firmly on the criminal’s radar.

Make sure their attacks are firmly on yours.

To find out how we can manage and minimise the increasing risks to your business contact us today.

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