Ransomware has increasingly grown to become more of an issue in the past few years. Companies, whether large or small, are still being heavily affected by ransomware which encrypts their files and demands a ransom fee in the form of cryptocurrency.
Such companies are left with a crucial decision of whether to reconstruct their various systems from the beginning to remove the ransomware or pay the ransom fee to the criminals in the expectation that they will provide the encryption keys.
Ransomware operators are occasionally described as expert criminals, and despite the fact that they are unquestionably sophisticated, many ransomware attacks can be avoided by adhering to some simple steps.
These essential steps include security maintenance such as keeping your software up-to-date with the latest patch. A number of ransomware attacks causing the most issues depend on a few obsolete software vulnerabilities for the purpose of disseminating.
Patches for the security vulnerabilities are easily accessible, but numerous businesses are not implementing them. Indubitably, updating software is considered a tedious and labour-intensive task which is of little merit. Nevertheless, reconstructing all of your customer databases after a successful ransomware attack is likely to take even more time and energy.
Moreover, another fact is that there are far too many companies that are willing to pay the ransom fee. This indicates that ransomware operators continue to dominate. While it is difficult to estimate precisely how many ransomware victims in fact pay the ransom fee, it is evident that ransomware is a highly profitable business for cybercriminals.
Even though law enforcement agencies typically will recommend that victims should refrain from paying the ransom fee, some companies face the risk of losing their entire businesses if they decide to not pay the demanded cryptocurrency amount.
In other words, some companies will indeed pay the ransom fee to save their businesses from collapsing. The main issue is that not only do the criminals profit from this, but it additionally encourages more criminals to partake in future ransomware schemes in order to make a quick profit.
When the ransomware operators receive more money, it illustrates that they grow in capacity in terms of recruiting developers to improve the efficiency of their ransomware. An increase in cryptocurrency payments from ransomware indicates that the criminals may spend more time and energy on more lucrative targets that could require more time and resources to crack.
Many law enforcement agencies struggle with scarce resources that investigating significant crimes is tough enough. Attempting to investigate cybercrimes, which is never the highest priority, is even more difficult since only a few investigators possess the expertise to comprehend what crime is exactly being committed, much less figure out how to trace the criminals involved.
Even though some law enforcement agencies possess the resources and expertise to follow the ransomware operators, there exists the truth that several cybercriminals will be difficult to trace. In cases where law enforcement may be able to identify the criminals, they frequently reside in jurisdictions far away that may present obstacles in terms of handing them over to be prosecuted. In certain instances, the line among the ransomware operators and the nation itself is fuzzy.
Furthermore, no company thinks that they will become the next victim of a ransomware attack. This is a significant issue as it is one of the primary reasons why ransomware attacks are succeeding in the first place. Some companies believe they are too small or unpopular to be observed by ransomware operators.
In addition, some other companies firmly believe that they are too well-guarded to be at risk of a ransomware infection. Such companies may be mistaken as ransomware operators may find smaller targets more attractive since they may be easier to lure into opening emails containing malware.
Also, some ransomware operators may begin by randomly scanning for internet-facing ports which can put any company of any size in danger of a ransomware infection. When large companies believe they are immune to ransomware, it is definitely not true as there are various real-life examples of large companies being compromised by ransomware operators who possess the resources and time to wait it out before striking.
Lastly, some employees working in companies are not trained to recognize security threats. As some ransomware attacks begin with an email, an employee who makes a poor decision may ultimately put their company in jeopardy.
Educating employees is crucial in preventing phishing attempts and ransomware infections. One small mistake can mean one big opportunity to the criminals since it may grant them access to the corporate network. Often companies do not change the default passwords throughout the network or grant too many employees too many permissions for accessing systems.
When an employee’s account is granted many permissions, it could permit the criminals to leverage it to its fullest potential.