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Ransomware is (Still) A Major Threat Facing Businesses: How Do You Stop It?

Ransomware is (Still) A Major Threat Facing Businesses: How Do You Stop It?

You’d think that cybercriminals would use ransomware to target high-profile businesses with loads of money to extort, but this is not always the case. Even a small business can fall victim to these particularly devastating attacks. So, what is ransomware? Ransomware is a threat, and just like other threats out there, it has continued to evolve and adjust its approaches based on the current cybersecurity climate. So what are some of the latest developments in ransomware?

In No Uncertain Terms, Ransomware Has Grown More Dangerous

In order to be effective, cybercriminals capitalize on the challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face every day. For example:

  • Cybercriminals frequently rely on deception in the form of phishing. Using phishing attacks, a cybercriminal bypasses the protections a business has in place by taking advantage of their employees in order to gain access to the business’ network.
  • A lack of communication between departments makes issues even greater. A lack of communications between a business’ departments can exacerbate the risks to be seen from cybercriminals.
  • Smaller businesses don’t always have the resources needed to prepare their team members. Unlike corporations, SMBs likely don’t have a dedicated budget for cybersecurity training, and almost certainly can’t afford the salary of a dedicated security professional on-staff.

The question remains, how can we stop ransomware? To know how to stop it, it’s crucial to understand the actors. Ransomware attacks are increasing and businesses need a plan to fortify their defenses and protect their information.

What is Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)?

Recent ransomware attacks will clearly show that cybercrime is a legitimate business model. Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) involves selling or renting ransomware to buyers, called affiliates. RaaS can be credited as one of the primary reasons for the rapid proliferation of ransomware attacks, as it has made it easier for a variety of threat actors — even those who have little technical knowledge — to deploy ransomware against targets. It provides hackers and criminals with the means to pull off ransomware attacks with ease. With these types of services being so accessible, it’s no wonder that ransomware is a major cause for concern for business and IT leaders. More and more, businesses are putting together teams of developers and commission-based structures for these services to ensure these attacks won’t affect their operations.

How Does Automation Make Ransomware More Effective?

The power of AI and automated processes has allowed many businesses to streamline certain processes, unfortunately, the same can also be said for cybercriminals. Automation has made it so they no longer manually attack individual targets, instead opting to leverage automation for widespread attacks with minimal effort. The extortion part of ransomware has also been completely automated, as evidenced by Avaddon, a ransomware variant that proudly displays a list of companies that have been infected right on its Dark Web listing, as well as flaunting a countdown to when the data will become publicized.

Ransomware Attacks and Layered Extortion

Ransomware attacks often target the same individuals or companies more than once, sometimes charging the victims even more or forcing them to pay up with a threat of the data being leaked if they do not do so. Unfortunately for businesses, this approach is more advanced than it has been in the past. Here is a snapshot of what the extortion process looks like:

  • The victimized business is instructed to pay for their access to their encrypted data to be restored.
  • Hackers release the data they’ve stolen if the ransom isn’t paid.
  • Denial of Service attacks are used to take down a victim’s website.
  • The cybercriminals responsible reach out to the targeted business’ customers, partners, employees, and the media to inform them of the hack.

These tactics have made it hard to say no to ransomware and have drastically improved the success odds for an attack to be launched.

You Need to Be Ready to Resist Ransomware

Ransomware can be devastating if you let it create problems for your business, so don’t take any risks with it. Make sure that you are working with cybersecurity professionals who can help you take the fight back. Thrive’s expansive suite of security tools helps your business stay on top of the next incoming attack. To learn more about your security and how to keep it from becoming a problem for your business, contact Thrive today.