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Ransomware – How Much Are You Willing To Pay?

Cyber security BCyber todayJanuary 17, 2020 11

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What is Ransomware?

Ransomware, defined as the malware that requires you to pay a ransom. A straightforward act where your data is encrypted and can be accessed by you once you are willing to pay a ransom to the hacker—usually in the ways of bitcoin. After this, the hacker gives you a decryption key to resume your accesses.

Just because it sounds simple does not mean it is by any chance, a cybercrime that can be taken lightly. This effort is not necessarily a one where your hacker is slowly brewing a cybercrime in your network and shipping out information or a one where your data is slowly getting manipulated instead of simply stealing it. (Read our blog on data manipulation to know how exactly it is done.) Here the hacker gets bold and locks you away from all your sensitive files, sometimes even your computer until the demand is met.

It has to be among the most dramatic cyber crimes out there, it is also among the most serious. In 2017, ransomware costed businesses $5 billion in losses. Locking out sensitive information, especially if it concerns government agencies and hospitals, can be the difference between life and death. No wonder that ransomware is a popular choice to carry out cyber warfare as well. We have discussed this at length in our blog, “what is cyber warfare-taking cybercrime to the digital front line”.

How does it happen?

It is one of those cybercrimes that takes advantage of the fallacies in human behavior. That urge to fall for clickbait emails or make mindless decisions under pressure are key habits that hackers prey on. The infamous phishing email is a popular choice for ransomware.

An ideal habitat for a hacker wishing to plague your network with malware does not need much.

To conduct a successful ransomware attack, your hacker simply needs the following conveniences (your inconveniences):

  • An organization where data is priceless (basically, every organization that exists)
  • An IT team that is juggling multiple tasks and stretched out too thin to be effective enough
  • Your security measures, or rather lack of security measures
  • Important data which is barely protected enough
  • Important data that is not even backed up
  • Accounts that have access to sensitive files, again, with lack of security measures
  • Most importantly, an employee who will fall for that phishing email for you

Now, unfortunately, your organization can easily fall prey to ransomware.

With the changing landscape of threats, devices, and the constant upgradation of these malwares, your hacker’s malware signature may not even be detected by the many anti-malwares and anti-viruses. According to Kaspersky, researches detected 16,017 new ransomware modifications in Q2 2019 alone.

Although these software are crucial aspects in your security posture, you cannot build your organizational security around them.

Organizations today, even have a dedicated fund for ransomware damage control and reserve bitcoin fund, according to a report. This simply enhances how crippling ransomware could be for business and also a sheds light on how the security measures today are not up to par. While it is a good practice to have a well-rounded damage control plan against cyber crimes in general, at all times, it is crucial to have a plan to prevent it as well.

If you think your organization is an ideal scenario for a hacker to carry out a ransomware attack, then, let’s change that not, shall we?

The 5 steps to ransomware-proof your business:

  1. Least privilege for your employee as well as the hacker: Every employee in the organization is entitled to the access of certain applications. As their time in the organization increases, they go through changes in roles and location. To facilitate the change, and to maximize productivity the employee is given all the access needed that sets them up for success. But carry this out without a proper system and you’ll end up with one too many employees with additional accesses which are never reviewed for revoking. Owing to the fast-paced business of today, employees are sometimes granted access without a lot of background check of their roles. The effort on why they the access and if they are even entitled to it, are barely asked. Even roles of shadow IT comes into play, where there are others who can approve admin level rights without going through the appropriate access workflows. In this process, you leave a gold mine for the hacker. If the employee has only access to what he/she needs and no more or no less, then the hacker basically hits a wall within your network. When the hacker demands ransom for this data at hand, you can decide if it is worth it.

Your sensitive data is of high value to a hacker with an intention. It does not only include financial data, the personally identifiable information of your customers is of value to them too. Losing this can be a great loss to you considering the stringent regulations like GDPR.

Ransomware is just another way of hackers taking advantage of the vulnerabilities in your network. Could you not give them that chance?

The post Ransomware – How Much Are You Willing To Pay? appeared first on Ilantus Technologies.

This content was originally published here.

Written by: BCyber

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