It might seem logical to try to negotiate the ransom demand down to an amount that isn’t going to break the bank but would still be enough to satiate cybercriminals’ thirst for cash. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good idea, because negotiations can backfire and even cause ransomware gangs to increase their ransom demands.

This recently happened to Acer when they attempted to negotiate a $50 million ransomware demand down to $10 million. As retaliation, the REvil gang threatened to double the ransom if they didn’t receive the $50 million.

Another example is the Egregor ransomware gang, which often threatens to publish their victims’ data online if they negotiate or fail to deliver on ransom payments. If you’re not looking to add your company’s name to the list of failed negotiations, keep reading to find out some do’s and don’ts of planning for ransomware incidents.

DO: Create a plan before crisis strikes

A ransomware attack affecting your business in today’s digital economy is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Cybersecurity is an arms race, and as technological innovation grows, cybercriminals are also constantly innovating to develop new and more damaging attack methods. That’s why it’s essential to prepare for an attack as if it were as sure as the fact that the sky is blue – hopefully enabling you to avoid any negotiations altogether.

Dealing with ransomware attacks: What options do you have?

The Ransomware Threat Landscape : Prepare for, recognize and survive ransomware attacks

The fastest-growing malware in the world

The core functionality of ransomware is two-fold: to encrypt data and deliver the ransom message. This encryption can be relatively basic or maddeningly complex, and it might affect only a single device or a whole network.

Ransomware is the fastest-growing malware in the world. In 2015, it cost companies around the world $325 million, which rose to $5 billion by 2017 and is set to hit $20 billion in 2021. The threat of ransomware is not going to disappear, and while the number of ransomware attacks remains steady, the damage they cause is significantly increasing.

The Ransomware Threat Landscape