The industry reports and poll results are in, and from all indications, IT disruptions increased in 2017 and the early part of 2018, making it a bad period for many companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). We’ve culled several reports and surveys to bring you several statistics that should make you take your disaster recovery plans more seriously.
Mother Nature can be cruel
Cyclones and hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes are becoming more frequent and severe, thanks to global warming. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared 2017 a record-breaking year for natural disasters in the US, with damages reaching $306.2 billion dollars.
For the first part of 2018, natural disasters caused 53% of IT outages, making it the leading cause to date. Part of the blame goes to the two nor'easters that hit early March; they were a double whammy particularly for the Northeastern United States. New Jersey was still reeling from the March 1–3 nor’easter when the March 6–8 nor'easter rolled in, closing airports and schools, causing massive power outages, and forcing the governor to declare a state of emergency.
Technology has its limits
45% of total unplanned downtime was due to hardware failure. Common causes of hardware breakdown include overheating, dust, electrical surges, physical damage (dropping or bumping), among others. Age, misuse, and improper handling can lead to serious damage. Because hardware failure is unpredictable, you need to have a backup infrastructure in place as well as a plan to replace aging or damaged hardware components before they cause serious problems.
If Mother Nature is bad, human nature is worse
20% of total unplanned downtime was due to human/user error. Even more unpredictable than Mother Nature is human nature’s tendency for errors. No one can predict when an employee might press the wrong button by mistake. Pixar almost lost Toy Story 2 due to human error; thanks to a technical director having a copy of the movie offsite, they were able to salvage the movie.
To attack is malicious
Malicious software, or malware, is still on the rise. Germany’s AV-TEST Institute, which conducts tests and research on IT security, has the latest statistics on malware worldwide, with the following significant highlights:
Total malware has steadily increased in number over the last 10 years. To date, there are 813 million malware programs examined and classified.
In the last 12 months alone, almost 233 million new malware strains were examined and classified.
Compared to 2017, instances of Android malware dipped by almost half in the first part of 2018.
But malware for Mac OS has seen a 167% increase, from 27,318 in 2017 to 72,952 in the early part of 2018.
The rise and fall of ransomware
In a recent global survey of more than 1,700 managed service providers (MSPs) servicing SMBs, ransomware increased dramatically between 2016 and 2017. 86% of MSPs reported that their SMB clients were victimized by ransomware during that period; 21% reported six or more ransomware attacks on their clients in the first half of 2017.
But in 2018, ransomware attacks dropped dramatically, dipping 30%. Cybercriminals realized they can make more money not by holding people at gunpoint but by using people’s computers without permission.
Cryptojacking is up
Cryptocurrency mining, or cryptomining, is in itself not illegal; it is part of the cryptocurrency process. But cybercriminals have developed malware that allows them to use your company computers to mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge. This unauthorized use is called cryptojacking, and it contributes to the diminished efficiency of your IT system.
The use of cryptocurrency mining malware is rapidly on the rise. By early 2018, almost 90% of all remote code execution attacks were related to cryptomining malware. What’s worse, cryptomining is still in its infant stage. What will cybercriminals think of next?
Don’t let your company be a statistic
Between 40 and 60% of SMBs hit by a disaster without any recovery plan will end up closing their doors forever. If you want to be a more resilient SMB, we at Online Computers will help you come up with a business continuity plan that fits your needs. We also provide other IT solutions and managed services. If you’re in or around Hanover, Morristown, and Madison, contact our experts today.
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