Latest Ransomware trends: Should you be concerned?

Experts predict that in 2018 ransomware will continue to increasingly be a threat and everyone should be concerned.

McAfee stated in its report about the economic impact of cybercrime that it now costs the world $600 billion as these crimes touch more than two billion people. It attributes ransomware as the fastest growing tool to aid cybercriminals, especially since it is able to affect everyone from consumers to enterprises, labelling it the fastest growing threat.

Ransomwares enormous available is a draw for cybercriminals as, according to McAfee, more than 6000 online criminal marketplaces have around 45 000 ransomware products for sale. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) is becoming increasingly popular too as these platforms allow the creator of the ransomware to get a cut of the ransom and increase their reach for a fee. Another threat is Ransomware Worms which are able to affect many computers as it spreads through a network.

We can see the evidence that the trend has been growing in Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report, which uses findings gathered between 2016 and 2017 from over 1700 MSPs that serve over 100 000 small to medium businesses, which states that ransomware attacks will continue to increase over the next two years. Of the Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that were interviewed that had dealt with ransomware, 85% reported seeing Crytolocker. Other common ransomware include Crytowall, Locky and WannaCry.

MSPs need to be extra vigilant for the report indicated that 30% of the MSPs outlined that a ransomware virus would stay on a business’s system and launch another attack at a later date. A third of the service providers explained it would encrypt the business’s backup, which made the recovery more difficult.

The report added that the industry verticals that are most targeted are the construction, manufacturing and professional services. It also warned that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, especially Dropbox, Office 365 and G Suite, are at risk. Do not forget about your mobile and tablets for as the use of these devices increases in the workplace, so does the increase in attacks.

MSPs also reported that despite active anti-virus software, spam filters and ad blocks among others, they were vulnerable to attacks, and therefore reported the only good defense is a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, as 96% of the MSPs were able to fully recover from an attack since they had a BDR system in place.

Therefore, it is important for any business to be aware of ransomware and how the business is able to cope with an attack, as it is not the ransom that breaks the bank, but the downtime that makes a business lose revenue.

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