Ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2016 and will double again in 2017 according to a study performed by Beazley a known Breach Response Insurance company.
Ransomware its also the most prolific type of Malware according to research performed in 2016 by Trend Micro, with more and more variants being developed every day.
Furthermore, it's also one of the most profitable cyber criminal activities, with companies paying up $20,000 USD for getting their data restored back to normal, without counting for the losses due Network Systems downtime.
How does Ransomware gets into a System or Network?
Most common Ransomware attacks come from simple email phishing, when users open an apparently harmless message, or click on a link within it.
Of these two pathways the first is known as No Download Malware, as the malicious program executes as soon as the email gets open; as oppose to downloading a particular file or attachment.
Ransomware could also be present inside compromised websites and get downloaded into a system as soon as the user access it.
Why is Ransomware effective?
Poor Backup Policy.
It's a fact that only a minority of organizations worldwide keep a strong Backup Policy, making them prone to lose information against Ransomware attacks.
Obsolete Network Topology.
Obsolete Network topology its also a big reason why a Ransomware attack could be devastating for an organization. Although made with the best of intents, current Network Topology found worldwide was born in the 70s and hasn't experienced many changes ever since.
This allow attackers to easily deploy an attack since they already know what to except and what capabilities and behavior should the Malware/Ransomware possess.
Under this scheme attackers will easily survey Network Systems to choose the most critical asset to lock down.
Obsolete Operating Systems.
As demonstrated by the recent wannacry ransomware attack many companies were still utilizing obsolete, or at the very least inadequate security wise, operating systems.
New technologies already allow systems to be immune to Ransomware attacks. These however have been available for almost 5 years.
Still many companies across the globe were unaware of any of said technologies, or were negligent to implement them.
Wrong Mitigation Route.
Many companies act under the impression that a Ransomware isn't any different from a Malware or even Trojan, in terms of being nothing but an accident due poor web navigation or email polices, while in true it may a strong signal of a previous Network Intrusion and often times the Final Step after critical data has been stolen from the organization.
This approach will leave a company open to future Ransomware attacks, as bypassing standard protection measures such as Anti-malware solutions is only matter of time.
After a Ransomware attack has taking place and aside proper mitigation measures, a deeper Network Security Study must be performed in order to identify both the former and future attack vectors, thus decreasing the chances of the same incident from ever happening again.
Organizations can suffer Ransomware attacks more than once.
As companies refuse to pay the Ransom as a first instance, cyber criminals have begun to take the approach of hitting the same organization multiple times.
Nonetheless this is only possible due wrong mitigation/prevention policies, which allow attackers to use the same attack pathways again and again.
How can your organization be protected from Ransomware?
The dangers and repercussions of Ransomware cannot be overstated, including loss of critical data and prolonged systems downtime, as malware becomes increasingly sophisticated.
However through a smart and comprehensive prevention and mitigation plan, we can help your company to be safe against most devastating Ransomware attacks.
Decryption - Prevention - Immunization
Although is true that you should maintain a strong Backup Policy, your organization may still get affected by Ransomware.
Our experts count with special tools that could help you decrypt your files back to normal; depending on the specif type of Ransomware that have affected your organization.
However you must consider that this is limited to specific file formats and that there may be instances in which Decryption is not always possible.
There are several prevention measures that your organization may adopt, from Anti-malware solutions and cloud-based backup of your data, to the adoption of safer Operating Systems.
Our experts will help you implement the best prevention solution according to your needs.
Although there's many prevention measures than an organization can adopt, including automatic cloud based backup, the potential encryption of one or several endpoints can still represent lost revenue due systems downtime.
Modern Ransomware targets not only common file extensions inside an Operating System, but important OS and partition files within it; locking down the entire system.
For this reason, Systems based on newer safer software architectures most be adopted.
We help your company adopt and migrate to this type of modern Operating Systems, in which malware cannot function nor directly affect your data with ease.