Ransomware has become one of the biggest moneymakers for cybercriminals. Not only have ransomware attacks increased in number, but they have also become more sophisticated, and the ransom demand has more than doubled.
On average, ransomware attacks cause a few days of downtime for the affected businesses and organizations. Ransom demands by the more high-end and sophisticated cyber extortionists can scale up to $1 million. During their investigation, Group-IB’s incident report and digital forensics team showed that Remote Desk Protocol servers were the primary vector used by these cybercriminals to gain access initially.
The other common vectors were phishing and public-facing applications, respectively. In 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations significantly increased their RDP servers to provide remote access for their staff to work from home because of the enforced restrictions.
While millions of people were working and playing their favorite games on Slots Play Casinos after a successful day, cybercriminals also saw an opportunity. This is one of the reasons why the level of ransomware increased. Here are other things that have contributed to the rise of ransomware in recent years.
Criminal collaborations and services
Cybercrime organizations are more meticulous and organized than you would like to think. Ransomware operators are also actively recruiting new members, which is why the scale of this threat keeps increasing. The distribution model for most ransomware variants is the affiliate model.
Here, the highest-ranking organizers are paid a percentage of the proceeds. The highly efficient collaborations and organizations bear several benefits for these criminals. Although there is rivalry among these criminal groups, the fact that these groups are all specialized in different areas still renders their operations efficient.
Consequently, they can grow and increase their operations. Ransomware can be devastating for your organization, whether you are just starting out or already established. Therefore, hiring a ransomware removal agency should be something you consider.
Presentation of payment as a solution
Sometimes the only option you are left with as an organization is to pay the ransom. That is especially when the information and data that have been encrypted or stolen are crucial for your operations. It is a tough situation to be in, contributing to the increase in ransomware. As more organizations continue to pay the ransoms, this notion or ‘solution’ becomes acceptable.
If you have a cyber insurance policy, paying the ransom to solve your problem becomes much more manageable. Lastly, the cost of the ransom will be significantly lower than the cost of damages to your business, especially if it is not very easy for you to recover.
Cybercriminal groups capitalizing on past successes
Ransomware criminals continuously learn and develop skills to adapt to new circumstances and challenges. Each time there is a headline involving payouts from ransomware victims, the more motivated these groups become to launch their attacks.
More cybercrime groups are now picking up double extortion as an extortion method. That is following the much-popularized attacks against companies like Garmin and Travelex. Furthermore, operators are developing more innovative ways of marketing their operations to their victims and other cyber criminals.
An increase in the range of initial access vectors
Nowadays, there are numerous avenues that ransomware operators can use to gain initial access to your firm’s systems. Exploiting existing vulnerabilities within the external-facing infrastructure, phishing, and attacks on services like RDP provide criminals ample opportunity to hunt for potential victims.
Ransomware attacks take advantage of technical and human vulnerabilities. This makes it challenging to implement effective countermeasures. In most cases, ransomware groups only have to buy pre-compromised corporate networks rather than gain personal access. These networks are readily available on the dark web.
How to protect yourself against ransomware
You can do many things to protect your organization against ransomware. Some of these include:
- Educating your employees: Your employees are among the most significant assets in your fight against ransomware. Through training and education, you can reduce the number of successful attacks. You should strive to ensure that everyone in your organization knows the basics of cybersecurityand how to spot a phishing email.
- Implementing security controls: It is crucial to have specific security protocols in place to protect your systems and data. These controls will help to prevent, detect, and respond to ransomware attacks. They include firewalls, intrusion detection, prevention systems, and endpoint protection solutions.
- Backing up your data:Creating backups is one of the best things any organization can input to protect their data. Even if your systems are compromised, you will still have access to your data. Consider creating backups regularly and storing them offline or in the cloud.
- Working with a reputable cybersecurity partner:A good cybersecurity partner can work with you to implement the best security controls and protocols for your organization. They will also keep you up to date with the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
- Creating an incident response plan:In the event of a successful ransomware attack, it is essential to have a plan in place to minimize the damage. It should include steps for identifying, containment, eradication, and recovery.
The bottom line
Ransomware poses a serious threat to organizations. If you fall victim to such a cybercriminal group, your business will likely suffer significant financial losses. Ensure that you hire the right services to protect your systems and your organization against ransomware attacks.