What is your plan in the event of a ransomware attack? Do you pay the ransom? Or do you prevent it? What many individuals and businesses don’t realize is that paying the ransom can be and usually is just the beginning of your troubles if you are attacked.
The first ransomware attack in 1989 was largely a failure for the attacker, but in the past three decades, attacks have become more virulent, insidious, and expensive, costing companies dearly in terms of revenue and clients. Sophos cybersecurity notes that “when you add together the full costs of remediation, including downtime, people time, device cost, network cost, lost opportunities, and ransom paid, the final sums per victim are eye-watering.” Once a network is fully compromised, even experts cannot ensure the salvation of your system.
Not only does ransomware cripple an operating system, but it can also attack intellectual property or IP. This kind of attack takes your valuable IP and makes it public. This loss of private information can result in total failure for a business.
Ransomware continues to evolve today, becoming more complex and more threatening, more able to take advantage of changes in society and technology. It is insidious because before you are even aware that your system has been attacked, the attackers have had access to your network months in advance. Like any virus, they are just awaiting the opportune time to infect and disable your network. Ransomware attackers look for weaknesses such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) without multifactor authentication (MFA), misconfigured webservers, or older platforms that are no longer receiving security updates.
Delving even deeper into the malicious nature of these attacks, even after the ransomware has been installed and ransom has been paid, the attackers will maintain their presence so that they can redeploy the encryption or exfiltration of data, causing further damage and costing even more.
One thing we know for sure is that ransomware is here to stay, and based on its activities these past thirty years, it will continue to evolve. But the good news is that businesses can become proactive through strong security practices, including using technology that will detect malicious traffic to help prevent and easily remediate threats.
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