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Ransomware top loss cause for small, medium business


Ransomware was the number one cause of loss for small and medium-sized enterprises last year, according to a study issued Tuesday from cyber risk and response firm NetDiligence.

The average ransom amount jumped to $175,000 in 2019 from $72,000 in 2018, according to the report by the Gladwyne, Pennsylvania-based firm. The number of cyber incidents for SMEs increased from 19 in 2015 to 301 in 2018, and was 263 in 2019, according to the report.

Net Diligence’s 10th annual Cyber Claims Study analyzed 3,547 claims arising from incidents that occurred during 2015-2019.

The data has been aggregated in more than 20 ways, including total, average and median costs; the nature of the event, including the type of data exposed, business sectors affected, claimants’ revenue size and loss causes; and cyber crimes’ impact, including business interruption and social engineering as well as ransomware.

The average revenue for SMEs was about $90 million, while the average revenue for large companies was $8 billion.

The report was sponsored by Chicago-based RSM US LLP, an audit, tax and consulting services firm, and by Experian Data Breach Resolution, a unit of Dublin-based Experian PLC.