The ransomware crisis is going to get a lot worse

Ransomware crisis

Ransomware is already a huge problem. And what’s on the horizon is even more worrying.

There is plenty of proof that ransomware attacks are growing and advanced. In just a few years, ransomware has become a important danger for big companies and even countries from a little irritation for PC users. Major cybercrime gangs are seeking money in assaults, and state-sponsored attackers have realized the ability to generate chaos and profit.

Some examples of the scale of the ransomware issue:

  • WannaCry, the largest incident in the 2017 cyber cycle with more than 300,000 victims in more than 150 nations, was most probable a type of ransomware unleashed in North Korea (NotPetya was followed quickly, a Russian attempt to cause disaster in Ukraine by ransomware which quickly spreads across the border).
  • Earlier this year, the authors of one strain of ransomware announced their retirement because they earned $2 billion already. “We have proven that punishment does not come by doing evil deeds,” they said at the moment.
  • The last summer of ransomware, with tens of towns and cities in the United States struck by ransomware, many were forced to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom to put their systems up and running again.

Ransomware is the internet crime definition of our present age. It is the unavoidable result of the company’s obsession with collecting as many information as possible about anything and anyone and its relaxed approach to safeguarding this information.

Businesses were asked to collect every piece of information on each customer engagement, each supplier’s interaction to help them gather understanding and guidance through artificial intelligence and big data techniques. However, the safety of these information continues at best a afterthought for many organizations. That leaves many with vast stacks of delicate data, but no instructions to keep them secure. If organizations don’t know why they collect data, they won’t also be evident why they need to safeguard it.

In another twist, ransomware uses encryption as a means to lock information from its legitimate proprietor, which is one of the main techniques we use to do company and interact online.

The alternative to the ransomware is somewhat easy. Basic internet hygiene prevents the vast majority of assaults before they get a foothold. Some of the most evident measures:

  • Training personnel to recognize suspect emails
  • Software patches are used to maintain systems up-to-date.
  • Change all access points to default passwords.
  • Use authentication of two factor.
  • Understanding what your most significant information is and creating an efficient backup approach
  • Have a plan how to react to a ransomware attack–and test it.

Sadly, big and small organizations still suffer ransomware as gangs become advanced in their job. Managed service providers and network-connected storage have recently been added to the objectives of ransomware gangs; they will not be the last.

There is every indication that this epidemic is getting worse, not better. The fact that victims and their insurers are willing to pay means that more crooks will be tempted to attempt their hand. Ransomware as a service kit means that even want tobes who have restricted abilities can try out a scam. While some police organizations have done a decent job in offering instruments to enable the victims to decrypt their systems, few ransomware gangs have been brought to justice.

There are already fears that ransomware could be used against electoral databases before the US presidential election in 2020. A ransomware attack that prevents some individuals from voting would have enormous implications. And it is hardly plausible to see criminals and state-supported hacking organizations attempting to expand use of ransomware in the near future to include additional equipment and scenarios. As we become more dependent on everything from intelligent cities to driverless cars, the dangers become higher.

Ransomware provides crooks a huge amount of prospective victims who can be captured on a cheap-to-deploy scam with a large payday. Maybe the true surprise is not that many ransomware attacks are being carried out, but there are not many more.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.