The number of corporate users impacted by ransomware increased 600% between 2014 and 2016, and this number is constantly rising. Not only is ransomware becoming more advanced and effective, but it's also now being sold as both a product and a service.
The Dangers of Ransomware as a Service
Cyber attacks are becoming commodities -- and this is giving rise to so-called professional cyber criminals. Through the internet, cyber criminals can sell their attacks on the open market. Once the ransomware has been purchased, the consumer simply has to decide upon the organization that will be targeted. The targeted organization will then experience a ransomware attack: their data will become encrypted and will not be released until the ransom has been paid.
Through ransomware as a service, the cyber criminals get a steady revenue stream without having to initiate, research, and launch their own attacks. Once the software has been sold the cyber criminals do not have to do anything further; their role is done. More dangerously, this puts advanced technology in the hands of anyone willing to pay for it. This includes everyone from aspiring cyber criminal to disgruntled ex-employees.
Protecting Against Ransomware as a Service
Effectively, all businesses need to know is that ransomware is becoming far more commonplace. From there, they have to engage the right ransomware solutions. Businesses have to protect their networks from ransomware if they want to avoid a loss of data and significant business disruption.
There are a few ways that a business owner can begin preparing themselves against this threat:
- Educate your employees on the risks. Employees need to be aware of what ransomware is and how to avoid it. Ransomware is commonly disseminated through email attachments and downloadable files.
- Regularly backup your system and files. Ransomware only holds power if you don't have access to your information. Though you still have to contend with a data breach, having your files accessible otherwise will help you get back to business right away.
- Invest in network monitoring and antivirus software. Your business has to have the technology to detect and defeat ransomware attempts quickly. This may mean investing in a monitoring service.
Determining whether your company is at risk is the first step to countering ransomware. From there, you'll have to take the appropriate next steps. CWPS can help you conduct a risk assessment and acquire the technology you need to protect yourself.