Why are Ransomware Attacks Rising Globally?

26 Oct 2022

The steep increase in Ransomware attacks around the globe has raised concern with Cyber Security Services companies and individuals.

This has triggered an overall review of the existing Cyber Security Solutions. Ransomware is a type of malware designed to deny users access to their systems.

The classic pattern of these attacks, as shown by the Cyber Security Services, is that of encrypting the system files and the part where the attackers demand a ransom for the decryption key. 

These Ransomware attacks cripple businesses and the world economy by blocking access by businesses and individuals to their IT systems and business data. 

As per the 2022 Cyber Threat Report, published by CrowdStrike, these attacks have an exponential growth, with an increase of 105% in ransomware attacks in 2021. 

Why are ransomware attacks continuously increasing? 

a. Remote Work

The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the new trend of remote and hybrid working. Businesses have embraced this changing culture which come with both advantages and disadvantages.  

The disadvantages include flexibility in the work culture. However, employees work from unmonitored and unsafe networks from their homes.  

b. Lure of Money

Unsecure networks at homes get attractive for the attackers who often bypass this system and block accesses

C. Low Awareness  

Lack of knowledge on Cyber Security Solutions among employees

It is important for a remote worker to understand the organization's Cyber Security Solutions and procedures. 

Here are some ways a remote worker can work in conjunction with the Cyber Security Solutions of the associated organizations:

  • Understand the organization’s Cyber Security Policies and Solutions
  • Use only devices that are approved by the organization.
  • Use VPNs as much as possible to access customer systems.
  • Think before you click
  • Guard your devices using the Cyber Security Solutions of the organization
  • Connect only to trusted networks or your Wifi Connection
  • Keep the router’s firmware updated
  • Use strong passwords
  • Mask SSIDs that broadcast.

These days Ransomware attacks are more complex, and it is difficult to decrypt without the attacker’s key—it is a form of extortion. 

Some organizations choose to pay, depending on the criticality of the data and their reputation at stake. Attackers on the Dark Web typically demand a ransom in the form of cryptocurrency, which makes it difficult to track. 

An encryption is the least of the worries, under a Ransomware attack. What is more important is the bad guys getting all the information, which can be used to extort again! 

There are well organized criminal organizations working to deploy malware. These organizations do their research, looking for the most sensitive company information as possible and even target backup systems.

This is why it is important to revisit the Cyber Security Policies at shorter frequencies for any organization and also have adequate Cyber Security Solutions. 

Steps undertaken to recover from an attack

  • Record the details of the ransom note or ransom call.
  • Disconnect the affected computer from the network to prevent the ransomware from spreading across the network and attacking the backups.
  • Engage a firm that specializes in ransomware recovery.
  • Do a complete wipe of the affected systems. 
  • Restore only when the systems are back up and running. 
  • After the restore is done, run an anti-malware package to ensure that the restored areas are free of any infections.

The first step in dealing with any type of cybercrime is to be proactive rather than reactive.

Reach out to the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), the Cyber Security Firms and other law enforcement agencies. In the event of a ransomware attack, the Federal Agencies and many Cyber Security Services have been firm in urging victims not to pay the ransom. 

Check the options that are available that do not include the option to pay the ransom.

The healthcare sector is badly affected by this. According to Sonic Wall’s report, there has been a substantial rise in the number of ransomware attacks per customer in the past year. 

In Closing

One of the most important areas to look at when it comes to ransomware prevention should be Cyber Security training.

What is more important should be the quality of such training. Candidates that undergo haphazard training with no experience to real life scenarios could potentially leave the companies vulnerable to such attacks and extortion. 

Last but not least, adopting a reliable cyber security solution offered by an established provider is one of the best things a company can do to prevent ransomware attacks.