Ransomware: How, why and who?

How does Ransomware work?

Ransomware is a form of malicious malware. Most modern Ransomware viruses encrypt a user’s files and demand money for their decryption- hence the name. They tend to ask for varying sums of money depending on the value of the data they have stolen. Research from CloudSec has revealed the average ransom demand is £540, usually requested in bitcoin.

This sum may seem small however there’s absolutely no guarantee you’ll get your data back once you pay the ransom. It also means hackers know they have a fish on the hook and you could become susceptible to further attacks if you’re labelled as a company that pays up. There is also no guarantee when the cyber-criminals will hand your data back, businesses can be haemorrhaging cash as they await the return of business critical information.

At 59%, malicious emails are the most common way to distribute Ransomware. Other sources include websites, social media and infected USB sticks. Read our Ransomware infographic here.

Why is Ransomware growing so quickly

If I had to answer this question with one word… money. Cyber-attacks like Ransomware, although illegal, are highly lucrative. Ransomware as a service is booming and is now sold on to anyone happy to break the law for a big pay check. Ransomware as a service gives even a novice the ability to launch a smart targeted cyber-attack.

Every 40 seconds, a company gets hit with Ransomware -Barkly

Security researchers have suggested Ransomware could increase under GDPR, as hackers tempt you to pay their smaller ransom as opposed to the eyewatering GDPR fines. – TSG Ransomware infographic

Who is behind Ransomware attacks?

As previously indicated even the most untechnical, would-be criminals can now launch attacks on unsuspecting businesses in order to lock down their data and hold them to ransom. Virtually no expertise is needed meaning the meteoric rise of Ransomware attacks is on track to continue. According to researchers Ransomware attacks on businesses increased 3x in 2016.

Overall ransomware infection numbers are continuing to trend upwards, powered by the WannaCry and Petya outbreaks -Symantec

What’s next?

Businesses must think about how they can protect their data from relentless cyber-criminals and the growing threat of Ransomware. IT security solutions such as Intercept X are a must to prevent Ransomware.

We’re offering a FREE webinar to offer insight on how organisations can protect their business from Hackers, attacks and data breaches, you can sign up here.

You can also read our full infographic on Ransomware here.