Ransomware an increasing problem affecting Dutch businesses

Small and Medium sized businesses in the Netherlands are at particular risk for ransomware attacks, NOS reports.

A malware type that blocks access to data, ransomware demands payment to its perpetrators in order for the proper computer functionality to return. Traditionally, cyber-criminals would send out thousands of ransomware attached emails with the hope a handful would be opened, however currently their approach is much more targeted. “Now criminals make much more effort. They break into a company’s network, do preliminary investigations and do as much damage as possible”, Frank Groenewegen, a security expert at Fox-IT said.

Police and security officials tend to advise companies not pay the “ransom” as it perpetuates the operations behind the attacks. Of course, there frequently is no alternative to payment as companies risk losing significant amounts, or risk paying a higher amount in rebuilding their IT infrastructure. “If the problems are big enough, companies can even go bankrupt if they don’t pay. That’s what makes them so interesting to criminals”, Jornt van der Wiel, a security researcher at Kasperksy said. “The largest amount that we encountered in a survey is 5.4 million euros,” Groenewegen said on the amounts sometimes demanded.

On the current state of the issue, Yasin Chalabi of insurer Hiscox said, “We already have 15 percent more cases this year than in 2018”.


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