Ransomware attacks have, over the years, become targeted and expensive. There is an ongoing ransomware epidemic with attacks becoming more targeted.

Previously, ransomware strains asked for ransoms of small amounts. Over the years, the ransom demand has exploded to nearly a million dollars. Requested ransom depends on how much data and the crooks perceived ability to extract money from the victim. Larger companies get asked for more money.

The ransomware epidemic has had adverse effects on a range of institutions. Previously, the focus was on the consumer market, but the new wave targets governments and targeted corporations and institutions, such as schools.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a deliberately harmful software that takes control of your computer and threatens to expose your data to the public. The malicious software decrypts the data, or provides the decryption key after receiving a ransom payment.

Why it Matters

Ransomware can have an adverse effect on your business, possibly even leading to closure. Being well aware of the threat allows you and your IT team to put a system in place to help prevent a ransomware attack.

One of the main ways attackers infect systems is due to poor IT infrastructure. Many times having a poor infrastructure is caused by budgetary constraints.

Are Public Institutions Easy Targets?

Public institutions are easy targets. For example, three universities were recently successfully targeted by this malicious approach. The institutions have not revealed the amount of ransom demanded by the attackers, but they were given six days to pay ransom. The institutions that responded negatively to the ransom demands have had their data published. 

Over the years, the attackers have devised advanced techniques, including;

  • Manual hacking
  • Targeted delivery
  • Cautionary network reconnaissance

New Attack Methods

The main ways of ransomware distribution are insecure RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) connections and spear phishing. Besides, the attackers can have access to your system if it was already infected with other malware.

To protect your systems from ransomware attacks, your IT team needs to set up protocols, give proper training to employees in the company, as well regularly perform security checks to ensure no open security concerns.

Ransomware mitigation can be addressed via advance system monitoring, next-gen antivirus, robust backups

Contact us for more information on ransomware and other aspects of security and IT.