The Essential 2016 State of the Channel Ransomware Statistics

Ransomware attacks may be one of the most underreported cyber crimes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. In the past year, different strains of this malicious malware popped up left and right, and really took a toll on small businesses around the world. Needless to say, hackers are continuing to rake in millions and are leaving many people wondering just how bad ransomware has become.

The best source of information on the state of ransomware within the small to medium sized business (SMB) community are IT service providers. They are frequently faced with these data attacks through the victimization of their clients. It is the managed service providers who can be the IT hero, offering the essential solutions for ransomware protection. In a recent survey of 1,100 IT service providers in the US and worldwide, Datto was able to highlight some eye-opening statistics based on their experience with ransomware in 2016. Here are just a few of those from the report.

Ransomware Frequency

91% of IT providers reported that their clients had been attacked by ransomware at least once in the last year. What’s more, is that of group, 40% saw six or more attacks in that same timeframe. Clearly, ransomware hasn’t lost any momentum and picking up it’s pace. While IT providers are doing their best to proactively prepare clients for a ransomware attack, it remains unsettling that preventing it from attacking at all isn’t possible today. Proper business continuity solutions are the best effort to prevent the vicious malware from succeeding.


IT providers were also asked how concerned they and their customers were about ransomware attacks. 88% reported they were concerned about ransomware attacking the small businesses they support. On the the other end of the spectrum, they estimated that only 34% of their clients had any concern about ransomware attacks. The apparent disconnect between IT service providers and clients is a cause for concern as these attacks become more frequent.

Equipping Clients to Face Ransomware

Based on the lack of concern from small businesses, it came as no surprise that a leading cause of ransomware infections was lack of employee training. From the survey, 36% blamed ransomware infections on employees who were not properly educated around or equipped to handle an attack. At 46%, spam/phishing emails were to blame as the top cause for successful hacking attempts. With employee training, businesses can address how to spot these kinds of emails, as well as a response plan for attacks that make it through the gaps.

From the statistics published in Datto’s 2016 State of Channel Ransomware Report, we can expect ransomware attacks to become more frequent and costly in 2017. With the majority of MSPs battling ransomware attacks each week, it’s not surprising that their concerns on ransomware and its potential impact on customers is elevated. It’s no longer a matter of “if” but “when.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the current state of ransomware as reported by the Channel, download the report.

Author: Datto’s Rob Rae
Rob Rae

Rob Rae is VP of business development at Datto. Read more Datto blogs here.