Ransomware is a growing business and shows no signs of slowing down.

The pandemic has sped up this pesky business, and almost every industry is at risk when it comes to cyber-attacks and successful breaches. There have been many cases of ransomware throughout recent years, but one main case stood out. Recently, in 2021, the U.S. Colonial pipeline was hacked, and the government ended up paying roughly $5M to recover their assets. This case is very alarming for businesses and people in general. It shows how impactful ransomware has become.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the key components that surround ransomware.

What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts valuable files, making systems unusable. A ransom fee is then presented to the business or victim in exchange for decrypting data.

Unfortunately, hackers can easily re-encrypt the data after receiving the ransom, which is often paid in bitcoin, then asking for another fee on top of the previous one. Often, organizations pay because they are limited on resources or don’t have the proper pieces in place to secure their digital environment.

Target industries
When it comes down to it, cyber-attacks can happen to any industry. No one is essentially safe, but historically, there have been certain industries that have been targeted more often.

They are as followed:

How ransomware works, a step-by-step
Breaches generally happen due to a vulnerability within the organization or simply put, human error. Here’s a simple step-by-step process to how ransomware works.

Step 1: Victim acquires malware through email, exploit, or worm.

Step 2: The ransomware malware attacks the server and downloads information.

Step 3: The data becomes encrypted, and a ransom is given with fee instructions

Now here is the tricky part. You can either:

Step 4: Pay ransomware fee and hope they decrypt your data and provide a private key – but you leave yourself at risk to the hacker re-encrypting your data and charging a higher fee to unlock.

Or what organizations are utilizing today are:

Step 4: Remediate with a third-party vendor

Best practices strongly urge organizations to not pay the ransomware fee, but many businesses and organizations sadly pay and end up going out of business. Preparation against successful cyber-attacks is essential for businesses of all sizes, and often, most are not ready.

Preventing ransomware
There are many proactive measures to take when it comes to protecting your organizations against malware and vicious cyber-attacks. Organizations that act on these measures below are proactive in their efforts against ransomware. When an organization is only reactive, they are covering their cyber-landscape properly.

Proactive measures:

· Maintain backups

· Develop Plans & Policies

· Train Team with Awareness Training

· Risk Assessments

· Partnering with IT Specialists

· Acquiring Layered Security

· Acquiring Security Consultation Services

· Remote Engineer Support

Ransomware remediation steps to take if you’re infected
If your organization has been hit by ransomware, don’t panic. There is a proper way to remediate serious situations like ransomware. Below is one example of how organizations can fix a pesky situation:

  1. Isolate infected systems
  2. Identify infection
  3. Report
  4. Determine options with third-party vendor
  5. Restore & refresh
  6. Plan & prevent

Securing your digital landscape for the future
As organizations within every industry move toward 2022, it is important to recognize cybersecurity as a major risk. Organizations can no longer be reactive when it comes to cybersecurity there is a need for proactive measures, to cover all the bases.

Many organizations are investing in new business technology and working with third-party vendors to secure their digital landscape.Third-party vendors have been a large help in the fight against cybercrime. With a team of experts, third-party vendors can provide the expertise that most organizations pay double for if they hire in-house. It may be something your organization can benefit from, considering the circumstances.

Tekscape is a managed IT services provider that supports organizations with technology solutions that build toward a better future. Our team of experts supports organizations with services around cloud computing, IT, cybersecurity, collaboration tools, and helping meet compliance needs.

If you would like to learn about proactive security measure that works for your organization in the fight against ransomware, schedule a time with an expert in your industry today.