Ransomware: When Tech is in Favor of Criminals and Users Gullible

Ransomware: When Tech is in Favor of Criminals and Users Gullible
25 Mar 2017

Ransomware

Organizations are well aware of the threats posed by cyber insecurity, but many of them do not really understand the great danger that comes with some of these threats. One of the most advanced forms of malware that businesses face today is ransomware.

This is malware that gets hold of your data, locks it up and demands payment for it to be released. This may sound a little bit crazy, but this act alone managed to extort $ 1 billion from businesses and companies in the year 2016. As you can see, figures do not lie, and it goes all the way to show the financial implications of ransomware.

How Ransomware Work

Ransomware always come disguised as exploit kits, adverts and campaigns among many others.

Humans are not like machines, and they tend to fall victims when they click on them unknowingly. Despite the widespread knowledge of malware tech, about 71% of organizations that are targeted by ransomware get infected. When the ransomware is delivered into your system, it will either deny you access to your computer, block access to your files or most commonly encrypt your files using strong encryption algorithms.

Once this has happened, you are notified about it and instructed on how to pay the ransom to get your files back. Many victims choose to pay the ransom to regain their files, but it is also a risky undertaking given that there is no guarantee that you will get them back.

The Current State Of Ransomware

Ransomware continues to be one of the biggest security threats facing individuals and businesses today. The future is even bleaker because the ransomware tech is highly evolving and the threats are becoming bolder day by day.

This malware used to be delivered largely indiscriminately meaning that anyone could fall a victim. This is still the case, but criminals are starting to target large organizations and big payouts. It is also likely that these attacks will become personal whereby criminals will threaten to expose personal information in a destructive way.d

When it comes to ransomware protection, there exist tech solutions that can help you to detect and fight ransomware. The problem is that attackers are using strong encryption that makes it hard to find decryptors of specific types of ransomware easily. Even when decryptors are found, the attacks are disguised so much that they escape detection.

Ransomware Statistics

Ransomware statistics from various studies done by institutions like IBM, Osterman, Datto, Symantec and others for the year 2016-2017 are so alarming. This is because ransomware emails increased by 6000 % as 40 % of all emails had ransomware (IBM). Osterman Research found out that 59% of infections used emails as a delivery method whereby there was either a link in the email directing users to a malicious website or malicious email attachments.

Ransomware attacks in the year 2017 are expected to double that of 2016 with financial services and health industry expected to be hit hard. Ransom demands are also getting higher with 20% of enterprises paying more than $ 40,000 with the average ransom demand being between $500 and $2000. With 70% of businesses paying the ransom and 25% of the attacks going unreported, the financial implications of ransomware are crystal clear.

Ransomware attacks are huge (4000 per day in 2016), and while many people are aware of risks associated with clicking on unknown emails, they end up clicking on them anyway. Solutions like using ransomware protection tech solutions, offline backup, and good email practices can significantly reduce ransomware infections if individuals, businesses, and organizations could take ransomware for what it is: a big security threat.

Image via Pixabay

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Waqar Tariq

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