During the pandemic last year, we saw cyber crime increase dramatically due to the movement of working from home, as well as the vulnerabilities and fear many people were experiencing. Many cyber crimes are launched during a time of heightened emotion, and a global pandemic was the perfect situation for cybercriminals.
This year, cyber crime, and specifically ransomware, continues to heat up. The pandemic along with remote work, a charged political climate, record prices of cryptocurrency and threat actors weaponizing cloud storage all led to an increase in cyberattacks.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that specializes in the encryption of files and drives. In what has become one of the most severe and serious security threats modern businesses now face. Ransomware is used by cyber criminals worldwide to hijack systems and disrupt operations.
Once a victim's system or network has been encrypted, they will be faced with an unreasonable request. Cyber criminals threaten to hold the encrypted data for ransom until payment is made. On average, only 65% of data is recovered after a ransom is paid.
Who are Ransomware Victims?
Recently the sophistication of ransomware hackers has changed the game. Historically, victims could avoid paying ransom if they had redundant backups and restored their systems.
However now attackers are expecting this strategy and will download the data then threaten to publicly release, it unless a payment is met through extortion tactics such as Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cyber currency that anonymizes transactions which makes recovery more difficult for professionals because there's no way to identify who payment was made to, or how much was paid.
The recent data from the study shows that no single industry is immune to this virus. In every region, across all sectors of business and organizations alike - it has become imperative for companies to implement security measures in order to prevent future damages as a result of ransomware attacks.
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is another recent development that has increased the danger of Ransomware. It has all but eliminated any technical knowledge needed to be successful and dangerous.
No one is immune from the threat of ransomware, so it is best to prepare for an attack by assuming you could be attacked. Make sure your company has multi-layer protections in place and is backing up data regularly. Understanding the threats of ransomware, and educating your employees on different vectors of the attack are also crucial to diverting attempts by cyber criminals.
Fighting Against Ransomware
Recent federal guidelines have expressed the importance of reporting breaches to the correct authorities so recovery and investigation can be coordinated.
The FBI does not support paying a ransom in response to a ransomware attack. Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee you or your organization will get any data back. It also encourages perpetrators to target more victims and offers an incentive for others to get involved in this type of illegal activity.
Having a disaster recovery plan in place beforehand is a necessity. You can work with your IT Service Provider to formulate a plan and ensure there are no vulnerabilities in your network.