CISA, the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, defines ransomware as an ever-evolving form of malicious software (malware) designed to encrypt files on a device, like a laptop, server, or network file storage, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Criminals (malicious or advanced persistent actors) then demand ransom in exchange for decryption keys. Sometimes the criminal is an independent actor, other times they are part of a larger gang, coordinating their effort to ransom many companies simultaneously.
What many victims struggle with is that, unlike being assaulted or mugged, they cannot confront their attacker. They receive messages from a nameless, faceless actor, demanding ransom in return for critical files or infrastructure. Because of this, they may try to ignore the actor(s) in the hope they get frustrated and leave. In response, the criminals have stepped up their game and taken cues from the old debt collector’s playbook to refocus the victim on the ransom at hand.
Over the past six months, ransomware gangs have begun using other methods to pressure the victim into paying the ransom: from taking down their websites with Denial-of-Service attacks to making voice calls to journalists as well as the victim’s business partners, outing them as a breached organization and ruining their reputation. The idea is to make it so painful that you have no choice but to come to the negotiating table and pay the ransom, if not to decrypt the files then to cease the DDoS attacks and harassing phone calls.
Ransomware is an imminent threat to all businesses and organizations. Ransomware gangs have proven it is much easier to attack small and midmarket businesses due to their lack of cybersecurity controls and practices in place. The best approach to protecting yourself is by strengthening your cybersecurity posture. Does everyone in the company know what to do if they receive a ransomware note? Does your Head of IT know what to do? Does your corporate board know what do to, whom to contact? It’s critical to not only protect your systems but also know how to react to ransomware attempts. It’s the difference between surviving or losing your business.
Protect Yourself from Ransomware Attacks – We Can Help
Our experts at CyberFort Advisors have decades of experience helping companies improve their cybersecurity posture, to become better protected from ransomware attacks. We harden your defenses, train your employees, and identify threats before they blow up your business. We can create a custom plan unique to your business needs. Contact us at 1 (866) 221-4004 or [email protected] to learn more.