In an era where technology is constantly progressing, users face the difficulty of keeping up with the various trends. From virtual reality glasses to game-changing Uber; individuals are sure to find a topic of interest. This is exactly what happened in 2016, when numerous users not only found interest in ransomware, but profited $1 billion through this illicit act.
What is ransomware? It is a form of malicious software that restricts access to data stored on computer systems and the criminals implementing the attack can use threat of exploitation or impeding the administration of a business in exchange for a ransom. The use of ransomware isn’t necessarily new, but the reason it presents a threat more than ever to companies is due to the fact that it is now a service for other illegitimate users.
Referred to as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), by IT World’s Ryan Francis, criminals are now offering services that provide unique variations of ransomware for purchase by users. Many IT professionals are becoming concerned. With the large potential profit to be gained through these services, the criminals behind ransomware are constantly developing the software to break through anti-viruses. The concern is for good reason. An intensive study conducted by KnowBe4.com discovered that a staggering 38% of companies were successfully compromised by ransomware, almost a 100% increase from the 20% in 2014. Nearly half of the individuals who partook in the survey stated that “they would be forced to pay the ransom”.
So what can you do to be proactive? 61% of those surveyed deemed email attachments as the biggest exposure to ransomware. 89% of IT professionals agree that Security Awareness Training by end-users is one of the best proactive solutions to deterring ransomware, with backup of computer systems following at 83%. Security Awareness Training is encouraged because software that can detect ransomware is not always efficient due to the rapidly evolving developments to the software, and therefore, may or may not intervene the hack. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that subjection to the threat will not occur, which is why a backup for your computer systems is suggested as well.
We implement both of these measures at Nerds Support, Inc. by providing our clients with Security Awareness Training, through KnowBe4.com, and generate offsite backups to their systems. This way, in case there were to be an intrusion, we are able to access our clients’ data via the offsite location and reinstate regular business functions, while our IT experts work diligently to remove the ransomware.
In a world of rapidly-progressing technology, threats will unfortunately follow the trend. Nonetheless, this should not discourage companies from taking advantage of new technological advances that can headway their growth. By staying up-to-date with potential security breaches and educating employees on proactive measures, businesses can enjoy the conveniences of our technology-driven world.
If you have a concern or want to make sure your company has implemented effective measures against ransomware, contact us for a Security Network audit at 305.551.2009.