Ransomware attacks have been on the rise recently, especially in the public sector such as schools, local municipalities, and hospitals. Cybercriminals adapt faster to changing security and target the less equipped to fight the ransomware attacks.
Ransomware threats are evolving faster than the security software can detect them, and thus, cybercriminals can get a significant advantage against security teams. The attackers often aim for public and private organizations that rely on personal data but have poor security. This is worrying not only for corporate data but more for the public systems. In 2019, the emphasis in ransomware attacks was on hospitals, schools, and other areas perceived as less secure and more vulnerable. They lack the resources to tackle cybersecurity attacks. Unfortunately, contrary to advise from the FBI, organizations had to pay to get their data back in a lot of cases.
When companies and organizations pay the ransom, this incentivizes cybercriminals to continue with similar attacks. This leads to an expansion in the ransomware market since the crime rewards greatly outweigh the punishment.
Here are the most important cybersecurity trends for ransomware and what you could do to prepare to combat these attacks.
Current trends in ransomware threats
One of the main trends in ransomware currently is that cybercriminals invest in a long-term personalized approach. The most popular ones are an advanced persistent threat, also known as APT, and targeted attacks created to break down or bypass the current security measures.
An APT means that cybercriminals keep in close contact with the network that is being targeted. They systematically learn the system and destroy all safeguards so that they can ransom files, gain access to cloud-based storage, destroy backups, and interfere with recovery efforts.
Even though companies and organizations invest more in cybersecurity, training, and education so that employees can identify and react to attacks, cybercriminals are also evolving constantly. The expert opinion is that ransomware attacks will continue to grow and become more targeted, tougher to detect, and sophisticated.
How to defend against ransomware attacks
With ransomware attacks becoming more sophisticated, how can companies and organizations prepare and defend themselves? The best way is to modernize the infrastructure and think about recovery systems.
Because attacks are becoming more specialized, they can be expected to aim not only for high-value targets. In a digitalized marketplace, almost all companies and organizations store and process personal information that can be valuable on the black market.
All organizations should pay attention to the security profile. They should take advantage of highly-available solutions such as edge computing and hyper-convergence that allow them to deploy the most effective cyber defenses, backup, and disaster recovery.
This means that the cost of insurance and IT reactions will also need to rise, which will be a problem for smaller organizations. But with the growth in cyberattacks, every business needs to be prepared.
The three main things every organization needs to do are educating the employees on ransomware attacks and how they can enter the organization, ensure that the data is backed-up on a regular basis, and test the ability for quick recovery in the case of an attack.