Many of those who have suffered a ransomware attack have not reported it to the police according to Europol (The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation).
Ransomware refers to when malicious software stops users from accessing their devices, and cyber criminals demand money in order to free them. The criminals may not return access even after a payment is made.
This kind of attack can be detrimental for small businesses. They may lose important data or be unable to continue with their everyday processes without access to their devices.
To prevent these attacks from happening and to hold the criminals accountable, the police benefit from hearing reports of where attacks have taken place.
Europol suggests that businesses sometimes hold back due to worries that announcing an attack will damage their reputation or they are not sure whether the police can help.
However, reporting ransomware attacks or attempts to Action Fraud, the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, means businesses can be supported by the police and future attacks can be prevented.
If you think your business may be targeted by cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud as soon as you can on their website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.
To prevent a ransomware attack impacting your business in the first place, there are simple steps you can take to improve your resilience.
The National Cyber Security Centre recently re-released their Small Business Guide with specific guidance on protecting your data from malware. They recommend installing antivirus software, keeping IT equipment up to date and switching on your firewall. See their full list of tips here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/small-business-guide/protecting-your-organisation-malware
We also have a downloadable guide on mitigating the threat of ransomware when backing up to the cloud on our own https://www.nebrcentre.co.uk/sme.