Ransomware is still one of the biggest growing threats to your business. With over 18 million new malware samples in Q3 of 2016, it’s obvious that trying to keep your IT team, vendors, and company in front of the threat is a difficult challenge.
We are seeing a flurry of reports across the news around a range of different organizations being held victim and the dire consequences those face. In our opinion, ransomware is so effective because attackers have such a good model. If you don’t back up your system, or acquire a decryption key, most folks will pay the small amount (relative to the value of the data to their business) to ensure a safe return. The problem is, you aren’t always guaranteed to get it back and in some cases organizations have known to have issued extremely high ransoms.
In the case of the Los Angeles Valley College, they paid computer criminals $28,000 to recover their infected files. It was an extremely risky strategy to pay such a large amount, knowing that the criminals may not provide the correct keys. But what made this attack very clever was that the criminals gave the college 7 days to pay the ransom, or those files would be lost forever. Without suitable backups, or decryption keys, it was a risk they were willing to take. The college should have had a strategy to combat this attack and were very lucky to recover their files.
It’s easy to talk about what companies “should” have done, or how they can fix a ransomware attack – but the key is to reduce the potential attack surface and decrease their risk.
In most instances, the human factor is the weakest link when trying to infect an organization. This is pretty evident from the statistics too. According to a PhishMe report in 2016, the number of phishing emails containing a form of ransomware grew to 97.25% during the end of Q3 in 2016, up from 92% from the first quarter.
So how can you stop being a target? The bad news is you can’t. So that means you have to have a proactive approach to ensure you can keep up to speed with the computer criminals.
With so many solutions and vendors out there, how can you decide what the best approach is? Contact CCSI for assistance in setting up your cybersecurity policies and procedures.