Ransomware attacks have transformed the cyber-attack landscape. These sophisticated and persistent threats can rapidly shut down computers, stop business operations, destabilize economies, and limit access to goods and services in minutes.
Top ransomware attack targets include organizations in the financial services, healthcare, technology, manufacturing and construction spaces, although the dawn of Ransomware as a service (RaaS), which is a business model that involves selling or renting ransomware to buyers, called affiliates, can be credited as one of the primary reasons for the rapid proliferation of ransomware attacks indiscriminate in the choice of targets. Anybody and any business can be a victim, as RaaS has made it easier for a variety of threat actors — even those who have little technical knowledge — to deploy ransomware against any target.
Cyber crime gangs probe vulnerabilities within an organization, determine how to create chaos, and disruption, and then plan for profiteering. Some hackers opt for a “smash n’ grab” approach, while others lurk quietly in systems for months in order to maximize levels of disruption and financial gain.
The average ransomware attack costs a business around $3.86 million. Exceptional cases, such as the WannaCry ransomware worm, have led to outstanding expenses. WannaCry is estimated to have caused $4 billion worth of damage, worldwide.
While the total cost of ransomware and ransoms continues to trend upwards, ransomware attacks need not be a routine business expense or included in the cost of operating a business.
The most effective ransomware attack mitigation strategy is a combination of educating staff, establishing defences, and continuously monitoring your ecosystem for vulnerabilities. And, of course, back up your systems, frequently and automatically! That won’t stop a ransomware attack, but it will make the damage caused by one much less significant.
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