“The first step of fighting a problem is identifying what is the problem”
Then only we can understand its strengths and weakness.If we wish to survive in the face of an enemy we need to understand the enemy more than they know about themselves. Or else all will be lost. Defeat is not an option.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve observed the rise of ransomware, with thousands of devices contaminated, countless dollars spent to recover lost files, emergency investments to improve security steps and devastating reputational damage. These factors make ransomware one of the most dangerous cyber threats to both continuing businesses and specific users.
Alarmingly, this threat is growing. Actually, Symantec uncovered 101 new ransomware households in 2016 and discovered 36 percent more infections than the previous year, according to the firm’s Internet Security Threat Report, In addition, antivirus tools found 846 ransomware infections each day at the beginning of the entire year, and that physique ballooned to at least one 1,539 each day by the year’s end.
What’s driving the Rise in Ransomware?
Both main contributors to the rapid growth of this threat are ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), an emerging trend in which would-be cybercriminals with little to no technical expertise purchase tools and services created by malware developers to start their own ransomware attacks, and the underground economy.
The Symantec report defined two factions of cybercriminals:
One, Traditional fraudsters who seek to launch substantial attacks through phishing campaigns without needing exploit kits (EKs).
Two, Cyber gangs that focus on more advanced attacks.
Both subscribe to the concept of living from the land or writing certain bits of code or features with other ransomware family members. Bad Rabbit, for example, shares elements of its ransom take note and propagation technique with NotPetya.
Typically the most popular vehicle for ransomware is phishing, which depends on social engineering more than advanced cybercriminal techniques. Emails are distributed by bots and made to seem like the best message from a trusted sender. Another common risk vector is exploited products, which take advantage of vulnerabilities in out-of-date or unpatched software to redirect traffic to an exploit server kit hosted on the best website.
The underground economy is normally associated with stolen credit card or other private information, however, the focus has mainly shifted to commercial malware. Like everyone else go directly to the supermarket to buy your groceries, cybercriminals search the Dark Web for packaged easily, user-friendly ransomware and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) sets. The increasing availability of these dangers to actors who would otherwise lack the skills to handle a cyber attack foreshadows remarkable consequences for the security community.
Who Is Most Vulnerable?
The truth is that everybody reaches risk, but certain companies and industries are more appealing to fraudsters than others. Healthcare organizations such as hospitals, for example, are susceptible because of the quality value of patient data particularly. When fraudsters secure historical medical data, health care professionals cannot render essential medical services and thus more likely to pay a ransom to recover their stolen data.
Government organizations are also top cybercriminal focuses on because of the high sensitivity of their data, data that pertains to critical infrastructure especially, such as electricity, gas and oil, and transportation. Similarly, the value of legal data, a lot of which could incriminate or embarrass high-profile clients, places law firms at risk. The most obvious target, however, is the financial sector, due to the huge amount of money in transactions that happen on banking institutions’ systems daily and the growing popularity – and lagging security – of mobile banking apps.
Why Are Ransomware Attacks So Effective?
There are countless factors contributing to the ever-increasing popularity of ransomware among cybercriminals. Below are six of the most significant.
- Willingness to pay ransoms: Many people are willing to pay the ransom to recuperate their lost documents, making ransomware a profitable business for fraudsters.
- Vulnerable software: Lack of patch management processes that identify critical systems and prioritize areas based on intensity leaves software subjected to attacks.
- Failure to check disaster recovery and business continuity programs: In case there is a cyber-incident, it’s essential to devise a plan to continue procedures during the incident response process or at least, re-establish service as soon as possible after a data breach. Failing to review and test these programs puts organizations at increased risk regularly.
- Insufficient backup programs: If an organization’s backup and restore strategy is not aligned using its overall catastrophe recovery and business continuity programs or examined regularly, it could fail unexpectedly when cyber attack hits.