How to Determine If a Ransomware Settlement is Right for Your Business
Business Law

How to Determine If a Ransomware Settlement is Right for Your Business

Ransomware attacks greatly impact business operations and can cost companies millions of dollars. While experts discourage companies from paying ransom demands, many do end up doing so.

The best practice is to keep your cyber insurer involved in ransomware settlement discussions. It can help ensure that negotiated limits don’t compromise other coverages, such as government claim limits or business interruption loss.



From hospital systems to gas pipelines, ransomware attacks have been causing significant damage to corporate reputation. While it’s easy to focus on the financial losses and productivity costs associated with a ransomware attack, companies must also consider how such an incident can affect their reputation among customers and vendors.

As more and more victims become aware of data breaches caused by ransomware, regulators are increasing the frequency and severity of fines they levy against affected organizations. For example, a healthcare company could face regulatory and legal penalties for exposing personal health information under HIPAA, payment card industry data under PCI, or personally identifiable information (PII) under PII laws.

Many threat actors will sell stolen data on the dark web, which can create new entry points for cyber criminals to target other victims. As such, cybersecurity experts like Fortinet warn companies about paying ransomware settlements because those who pay run the potential risk of their reputation as “payers” becoming common knowledge in the cybercriminal underworld. Working with a team of experts who can settle transactions quickly and efficiently helps mitigate this risk. The best way to mitigate against ransomware is to have a proactive cybersecurity strategy that includes regular updates and backups. Also, be sure to use granular reporting and analysis to detect threats. This will help you correlate network and host security device logs to identify suspicious activity.


A ransomware settlement can be extremely costly to your business. It may include direct costs such as customer compensation, loss of revenue, downtime and incident response fees. Indirect costs such as legal fees, fines and penalties also have a great impact.

Most experts strongly advise against paying the ransom. They warn that payment does not guarantee the return of files, rewards attackers, and can fund criminal enterprises violating OFAC regulations.

Companies that are hacked and suffer data loss are often hit with large class-action lawsuits from their customers or governmental agencies. This can lead to expensive settlements or fines. A cyber attack can cost businesses millions of dollars in damages. 


Depending on the severity of your attack, dealing with it could take days, weeks or months. During that time, your team needs to focus on business as usual. Paying the attackers is frequently the quickest approach to end your ransomware problem.

However, experts advise against it. Payment does not guarantee data restoration and may encourage criminals to demand more. A 2021 study also found that only 29% of paid companies got all their data back.

Additionally, it may not be legal to make the payment. The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control has rules prohibiting the financial support of sanctioned nations or regions.

Additionally, it’s important to report the ransomware request to law enforcement. They have resources and tools to help locate the stolen or encrypted data. Also, working with a cryptocurrency ransomware settlement practice to handle the transaction enables you to comply with OFAC regulations. This allows you to proceed and hasten the restart of your business.


Considering lost productivity, I.T. costs, legal fees, credit monitoring services for employees/customers and the loss of trust in your brand, a ransomware attack can cost you millions of dollars.

While attackers often go after high-profile companies, every business is a potential target. Attackers often target affluent regions and countries because hackers want to collect the most money possible, and they tend to have higher P.C. adoption rates.

Funding criminal conduct is against the law, even if you pay the ransom and get the decryption key. Paying a ransom also motivates attackers to carry out further attacks.

When you spot ransomware on a device, disconnect it from the network and power it down (if necessary). Use granular reporting and analysis to ensure you can identify all devices infected. Then, prioritize restoring systems based on their impact on productivity and revenue. You will heal more quickly as a result of this. After recovering from a ransomware incident, be important to close any holes or backdoors the attackers discovered while you were recovering to prevent further assaults.

Risk Management

If ransomware affects your business, you could be liable for damages. This may include the cost of restoring systems, lost sales, a drop in consumer and employee confidence, and reputational harm. Regulators might also impose harsh fines.

Attacks can also be used to steal confidential data. This can be used to conduct new assaults against your company or sell on the black market.

Experts do not recommend paying the ransom because it benefits the attackers and doesn’t ensure that your data or systems will be recovered. It might be against U.S. law. Regulations from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control forbid providing financial support to entities in sanctioned nations or areas.

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