Confronting the Escalating Threat Of Ransomware Attacks

December 27, 2023

In a world of digital-centric approaches, digital frauds have risen over time, especially with the COVID-19 outbreak. Worldwide, the escalating threats of ransomware attacks made the digital world and its operations anxious as untold numbers of digital frauds and rising stories of digital scams made Americans lose $13.4 million. Just hold tight, even Google claims that they are up to confront almost 240 million spam messages daily with viruses and frauds to extend the digital frauds. Organizations can contact professionally IT managed services provider to handle ransomware attacks.

What Exactly Is Ransomware?

Gone are the days when robbers physically came to the houses or banks and stole whatever they wanted to do. In 2023, the entire game is different, and robbery turns into a ‘Digital Heist,’ and robbers become ‘Cyber Attackers.’ The information could be fascinating as a fictional story, but it has dark sides. 

Along with modern techniques and digital approaches, cyber attackers know how to do digital heists sophisticatedly and target businesses, individuals, or organizations to utilize their networks, information, etc. 

Ransomware typically employs encryption or elevated access controls and prevents users from accessing their information, cloud services, or workstations. After the ransomware attack, the users must pay some amount to regain access. It’s not a robbery film script but a hard reality of today’s digital world. 

A single wrong click may lead the users or organizations towards situations where they have to pay a significant amount of money as ransomware. Beware of infected links to stay away from hackers from your organization and systems.


So, Where Exactly Did Ransomware Pop Out From? 

It’s been 30 years since the first ransomware attack. In 1989, After the World Health Organization’s AIDS conference, fearlessly, a genius Harvard-educated biologist named Joseph L. Popp sent out 20,000 floppy disks to all the lucky attendees. He was actually dissing, not disking out like a pro.

The entire packaging even claimed that the disks contained a questionnaire to assess the chances of contracting HIV. The next part is more enjoyable when a message suddenly appears on users’ screens demanding them to mail $189 to a P.O. box in Panama to regain file access. The idea of ransomware was raised in Russia and spread worldwide in Europe and the USA; even hackers started using the malicious extortion software.


Ransomware Turns Businesses Into A Hot Mess

Did you know? The average ransomware amount in 2023 skyrocketed to a staggering $1.54 million, leaving the previous year’s $812,380 in the dust. Check out how ransomware affects business in so many ways in no time.

  • Exposure or loss of 
  • Service interruption.
  • Decline in productivity.
  • Loss of revenue.
  • Damage corporate reputation.
  • Decreased employee morale.
  • Loss of customer trust and loyalty.
  • Future attacks threats.

Understanding the Mechanics Behind a Ransomware Attack

  • The attackers have dispatched a deceptive email with malicious intentions.
  • The user is presented with a link and proceeds to click on it.
  • Malware unloads and runs its code.
  • The attackers acquire control of the “public key” necessary for encrypting files.
  • The files become encrypted, and the user is given a ransomware screen.
  • The attacker typically requests ransomware payment in the form of Bitcoin.
  • The attacker may provide the “private (decryption) key when the ransom is paid.

Understanding the Mechanics Behind a Ransomware Attack

Potential Targets of Ransomware Attacks

Attackers, with their arrogant and egotistical attitudes, fear no one. They are relentless in their pursuit of fulfilling their desires, stopping at nothing to target and attack any organization. Well, certain industries are always in the target zones of cyber attackers;

  • Education.
  • Construction and property.
  • Central and federal government.
  • Media, entertainment and leisure.
  • Local and state government.
  • Retail.
  • Energy and utilities infrastructure.
  • Distribution and transport.
  • Financial services.
  • Business, professional and legal services.
  • Healthcare.
  • Manufacturing and production.
  • IT, technology and telecom.

Potential Targets of Ransomware Attacks

Annual Malware Attacks Count (Billions) 

  • 2015:    8.19
  • 2016:    7.87
  • 2017:    8.62
  • 2018:    10.52
  • 2019:     9.91

Annual Malware Attacks Count (Billions) 

How To Confront The Rising Threats Of Ransomware Attacks

Here are some mind-blowing steps to prevent the rising ransomware threats and save your businesses. Sensitive information and a large amount of money without being trapped or digitally fooled. 

Back-Up Is The Best Way  

Always have a decentralized backup that could easily be used and then disconnected. External physical backups such as hard drives or online/cloud-based backups allow organizations to power down and again restore data from the previous backup; no worries, even if your system is being hacked or gets threats of ransomware. Backup is the best way to run your business smoothly and experience seamless recovery.

Use Endpoint Detection and Response Software (EDR) 

EDR is a full-fledged and advanced threat protection software. It’s not like antivirus, as antiviruses only protect against known threats; however, EDR is an expert in detecting and responding to stop emerging attacks. It helps organizations to see malicious behaviour signs and works by collecting data from workstations.

Test Your Backup And Recovery Plans

Why don’t you test your backup files and have recovery plans? You can’t afford the loss of your systems, organizational data, and cloud services at stake. To tackle this problem and avoid ransomware attacks, you can return to a previous restore point and ensure your backup is all good and working fine. And you know what? The same applies to your disaster recovery plans if you have any.

Keep Personal Information Out of Emails

Social engineering is the clever technique cyber attackers employ to breach servers. Don’t leave sensitive communications or personal information in emails; it invites cyber attacks. Safeguard your organization by staying one step ahead and avoiding the 100% success rate of phishing emails.

Employee Awareness Program

Regularly organizing employee awareness programs is a great idea to educate and empower your team against ransomware, phishing emails, and the significance of safe browsing habits. Training your teams on handling accidental falls for phishing scams or suspicious emails can further protect them from ransomware attacks. Stay vigilant and keep your organization safe.

Enhanced Security Measures

Traditional cybersecurity measures can identify only familiar forms of ransomware, whereas cutting-edge protection technologies can safeguard against more sophisticated attacks. Consider exploring advanced tools and strategies like extended detection and response (XDR), managed detection and response, Secure Access Service Edge, SIEM, user and entity behaviour analytics, zero-trust security, and cyber deception to strengthen defences.

Tools for Behavior Analysis

Behaviour analysis tools such as AI, machine learning, big data, and analytics to counter abnormal and malicious behaviour from attackers. This could be achieved by comparing real-time data to the organization’s typical patterns and standard operating procedures. The organization can benefit from this tool by improving the detection of sophisticated cyber threats and reducing false positives.


Conclusion Of The Day

Ransomware attacks have become a popular choice for cyber attackers. However, only IT-managed service providers and their skilled professionals possess the expertise to handle these threats effectively. The practices we have shared are essential for safeguarding your organization against cyber attacks, ensuring smooth operations, seamless customer experiences, and increased ROI.

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