Ransomware attacks continue to grow in number and sophistication. If you are responsible for IT and security management in your organization, knowing how to protect your organization against ransomware is a must.
For example, a May 2019 ransomware infection hit the city of Baltimore’s computer system. The attack affected hospitals, vaccine production, airports, and ATMs. The total cost? Estimated around $18 million.
Governments and large corporations may get the most attention, but they aren’t the ones that suffer most. Consider these statistics:
In this article, we’ll answer –
Ransomware is a malicious program. It can infect a single computer or a network of computers, encrypting the data, making it inaccessible. Upon infection, the cybercriminals communicate their demands, often a ransom that must be paid in order to decrypt the data.
According to one survey, 98% of attackers provided an encryption tool upon payment.3
Considering the costs, you want to avoid this situation entirely, which you can do with solid network and endpoint protection, employee training, and a well-defined disaster recovery plan.
A ransomware program activates and infects a computer when a user:
Quite simply, they work.
Ransomware cybercriminals make a lot of money on these attacks. Most ransomware scripts are not amateur efforts. These are done by highly advanced international crime rings that are well-financed and run like a business.
The ransomware programmers, also called authors, have a huge incentive to invest in developing new and more advanced encryption algorithms. They also continue to evolve the delivery of these programs to ensnare companies and force them to pay the ransom.
So far, 2017 remains the worst year on record where cybercriminals made over $1 billion in profits on ransomware attacks.4 Typical attackers demand what might be considered “reasonable” amounts of money – between $2,500 and $10,000 per infected device.
Attackers don’t seek to bankrupt their targets. They aim to infect as large a number as possible to get as many people as possible to pay. And as noted in the statistics at the beginning of the article, Bitcoin remains the preferred payment method, posing another costly and logistical challenge for organizations that suffer an attack.
Fortunately, you can protect your organization with a proactive approach to network and endpoint security.
To protect yourself against ransomware, you need to implement a three-point strategy.
#1 – Deploy essential security measures.
#3 – Be prepared for an attack.
While 2017 may have been of the worst years for ransomware attacks, increased remote workers introduce new opportunities for cybercriminals to wreak havoc on organizations of all sizes.
Implementing the three strategies outlined in this article offers the best approach to protect your organization against a ransomware attack. If you have questions about how to do this, one of our managed security service professionals will be happy to speak with you. Please do not hesitate to contact us and see how we might help.