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Ransomware. It’s not new by any means, it’s evolved exponentially over the last few years and dominates the malware market.

Fun fact – Ransomware is now the most profitable malware type in history.

Businesses are extremely vulnerable, both the enterprise and individual user.

Ransomware operators are finding innovative ways to exploit companies and generate revenue.

This success will only prompt further campaigns, so it’s crucial that IT departments are equipped with the infrastructure that can help defend or minimise the damage of an attack.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware, although there’s many different strains, can more or less fall into seven categories.

They work in varying ways, but they still set out to do one job; hold your data to ransom for a sometimes pricey figure.

• CryptoLocker
• CryptoWall
• CTB-Locker
• Locky
• TelsaCrypt
• TorrentLocker
• KeRanger

The people behind the attacks are paid in Bitcoins, and frustratingly remain anonymous. The strains are now that advanced that victims have little choice but to pay the ransom.

Despite the success of Ransomware, the ways in which they can gain entry into your business’ system and access data are relatively limited.

Poor Defence

One of the reasons ransomware has been able to prevail is because the level of sophistication that goes into protecting your business’ data doesn’t match the level of sophistication that attackers are operating to.

It’s the lack of visibility that is playing to their strengths, as rather than taking a holistic view to data security, businesses are treating data breaches in silo.

This scramble to start protecting networks in light of an IT data breach is giving ransomware thieves the time they need to scope out systematic or infrastructural weaknesses and deploy a greater attack.

The amount of precautionary actions to take when trying to secure all of your businesses networks can be an exhaustive task.

However by failing to improve your data security plan, infrastructure and minimise the time it takes to patch vulnerabilities, you’re giving the attackers leverage to create stronger, more deadly campaigns.

How They Get In

Email phishing scams are the old school style of Ransomware campaign, tricking employees into opening and clicking through a malicious email that sends a virus running through your entire network.

Malvertising (malicious advertising) is the same thing.

However new trends have shown that authors of Ransomware are now writing scripts that affect network and server-side weaknesses.

Early in 2016, the SamSam Ransomware variant targeted the healthcare industry in an attack which enabled the cyber criminals to move through the network and compromise machines for ransom.

If your internet infrastructure hasn’t been updated, we’d suggest addressing this as it’s expected that attacks of this nature will become more pervasive.

Ransomware is only going to continue to exploit businesses, and like we’ve seen with SamSam, it can affect entire industries.

To fully prepare your business for what’s in store, download our guide  ‘2017 Roadmap For Risk-Free IT’ HERE  for a step-by-step action plan on safeguarding your IT against cyber hackers.

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