Ransomware attacks still on the rise

Ransomware attacks still on the rise

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Ransomware attacks are still on the rise, and we all have every reason to be very worried about the increasing trends we’re seeing.

According to at least one piece of recent research, 2018 has already seen double the rate of ransomware attacks so far, but what’s equally as concerning is that the attacks are changing tact to go for bigger targets to demand higher ransoms, and the hackers are enjoying success.

It’s a sign of the times, and we all need to be very careful to make sure we protect ourselves from the growing risks of ransomware attacks.

Ransomware attacks targeting critical systems

More and more ransomware attacks are thought to be targeting organisations’ critical systems, like their servers and databases, as opposed to individual users. Hackers are seeing the value in forcefully-encrypting an entre server or database and demanding a higher ransom as opposed to locking out one user who was unfortunate enough to have fallen for a targeted attack.

The most prominent forms of malware remain malicious software using ransomware attacks where demands are made for users to pay a ransom in order to free their systems. Given that time is money, it’s often cheaper to pay up and get back working again than risk files being deleted, or cope with the potentially bigger losses incurred by reporting the matter to the police and hiring a cybersecurity expert.

The hackers are smart: they often price their demands to a sensible amount that’s affordable enough for an organisation to pay up and get on with their business.

Only one weak link needed for a successful ransomware attack

It only takes one weak link in the chain – that’s one member of staff who opens a phishing email or clicks on a dodgy link – to open the doorway the hacker needs to potentially break into an entire server or database. Humans remain the biggest weakness of any organisation, and while most people are savvy enough to not fall victim to a phishing attack, it still just takes one person to make the mistake.

The risk of successful ransomware attacks is therefore huge, and email remains one of the most popular entry points.

Ransomware attacks being on the rise is a worry for all

Ransomware attacks being on the rise is a worry for all, and it’s an issue we have covered a lot in the past as well. With hackers applying legitimate business principles to enjoy greater success, such as the marginal propensity to pay (i.e. pricing demands to affordability), and even reinvesting their ill-gotten gains into innovating and creating better malicious software, this is not a problem that’s going to go away anytime soon it seems.

With UK businesses still not taking cybersecurity seriously enough and still not investing enough in protection against things like ransomware attacks, there are doorways to lucrative demands that hackers can make with seemingly very little resistance to stop them.

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