The business cost of Windows ransomware: $300 million

In previous blog entries, we've highlighted how Microsoft Windows-based ransomware (such as CryptoLocker and Wanna Cry) severely affects business bottom lines. Thanks to a recent article in industry publication The Register, we now have a clear picture of the specific costs incurred from these infections.

Global shipping company FedEx has estimated the cost of NotPetya ransomware infections at a whopping US$300 million. Quoting from The Register:

  • "Operating results declined due to an estimated $300m impact from the cyberattack. . . "
  • ". . . revenue and profit [as a result of the ransomware] still remain below previous levels."

Other global firms were similarly affected, including Maersk and Reckitt Benckiser—to the cumulative sum of US$436 million.

These are prominent examples, but organisations of all sizes are similarly crippled with billions of dollars in total lost revenue. It's all part of the hidden costs of Windows—as the prominent ransomware strains affect Windows only—and highlights years-long ongoing security shortcomings in Microsoft-based technology.

One of the best possible safeguards against ransomware is to switch to an operating system (OS) unaffected by Windows viruses, such as Ubuntu. Migrating is in many cases straightforward, with cloud services that work without a dependency on Windows—not to mention the availability of feature-rich business software on Ubuntu. And if for any reason Windows software is required, take advantage of virtualisation to easily and securely deliver Windows apps in an environment that protects against ransomware infection.

Windows ransomware will only continue to proliferate going forward, with businesses using Windows subjected to ongoing hits to profits and productivity. There has never been a better time to investigate moving to secure, open source replacements.