A recent Datto survey of 1,100 managed service providers worldwide has found that ransomware causes $75 billion a year in damanges to small and medium sized businesses in the U.S., with downtime resulting from ransomware often costing companies more than $8,500 per hour.

Ninety-five percent of respondents said ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said a ransomware attack had led to business-threatening downtime. The average ransom demanded ranged from $500 to $2,000, though more than 10 percent reported a ransom larger than $5,000. Seven percent of respondents said payment of the ransom did not result in the return of data.

Fully 91 percent of respondents said their clients had been hit by ransomware in the past 12 months, and 40 percent reported more than six separate attacks during the past year. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they experienced multiple attacks in a single day.

"Ransomware is not about a couple of hacker kids sitting in the basement and messing around," Datto CEO Austin McChord said in a statement. "It's a major enterprise orchestrated by large and well-funded companies, and it's becoming a massive problem for businesses, regardless of industry or geographical location."

Separately, the September 2016 Netskope Cloud Report states that 43.7 percent of all malware found in enterprise cloud apps are common ransomware delivery vehicles, including Javascript exploits and droppers, Microsoft Office macros and PDF exploits -- and 55.9 percent of malware-infected files found in cloud apps are shared publicly.

Enterprises have, on average, 977 cloud apps in use, and 94.7 of those apps are not considered enterprise-ready, meaning they lack key functionality such as security, audit and certification, service-level agreement, legal, privacy, financial viability and vulnerability remediation.

"With the rise of ransomware, the cloud threat landscape is now increasingly complicated; IT teams need deeper intelligence, protection, and remediation that can help them stop malware and ransomware in their tracks and prevent them from spreading," Netskope founder and CEO Sanjay Beri said in a statement.

A recent eSecurity Planet article offered advice on how to stop ransomware attacks.

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