Malwarebytes recently released a report about the impact of cybercrime on business. TechRepublic met with Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski to discuss the impact of ransomware on businesses, and whether it’s as large as it appears.

“2017 was the year of ransomware, especially in B2B,” Kleczynski said. “2016 was really a consumer focused ransomware year.” However, at the end of 2017, there was a decrease of ransomware, and its monetization for criminals has gone down in the past couple months.

Ransomware had such a large impact on businesses, simply because they were not prepared for it. “If a machine went down, data went with it,” he said.

Because businesses were impacted quickly, they reacted aggressively. “Ransomware was a topic for a full year,” he said. “In a year’s time, you can get a lot of businesses ready for that kind of attack.”

User training and a solid anti-virus, anti-ransomware product is one solution to this issue. “If I can train the average user to not click on links, or really understand that they’re being phished to download ransomware, or opening a PowerPoint that’s not really from anybody relevant, or a PDF document–that goes a long way,” Kleczynski said.

User error and phishing is the biggest cause of ransomware attacks, he added. If a user can do good job at mitigating most of the attacks, then good security products can take over the rest.

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