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Booming ransomware – Rising threat level for companies

Booming ransomware – Rising threat level for companies

As ransomware continues to evolve as an attack tool, even the simplest form of ransomware can cost a lot of time and money. More serious attacks, however, can strike a crippling blow and even completely destroy a company, sparing no one – not even large, prominent organizations. Unprepared users and businesses can quickly lose valuable data and money as a result of these attacks.

Many – especially small and medium-sized – companies are under severe threat. This is why we have compiled the most important statistics and tips on the subject of ransomware for you.

Ransomware – One of the biggest threats facing cyber security

  • A ransomware attack occurs every 14 seconds.
  • In 2019, criminals made around 11.5 billion US dollars from ransomware attacks. And the trend is rising.
  • The costs of IT system downtime are around 23 times higher than the ransom demanded by cyber criminals.
  • Over 200 percent increase in costs from 2018 to 2019 for IT system downtime due to ransomware attacks.
  • There was a 363 percent increase in the total number of ransomware detections targeting enterprises between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019.
  • Current estimates put the economic damage caused by cyber attacks at between $400 billion and $1 trillion per year.

Tips on how to protect against ransomware

Ransomware is becoming increasingly dangerous and is keeping the corporate world on its toes. If the malware is able to penetrate the system, it infects entire networks and secretly encrypts important files. This happens in the background, so the victim doesn’t even notice it at first. The data becomes unusable. To decrypt the data, the user has to pay a not inconsiderable sum of money – usually in Bitcoins. 

  1. Create regular backups of your data. Our recommendation: As a user, you should regularly copy all important files to a second storage medium, such as an external hard drive or USB sticks. After the backup, the storage medium should be disconnected from the computer.
  2. Use antivirus scanners and content filters for your mail server. Using professional email and web security tools can scan attachments, websites and files for malware and block potentially dangerous ads and social media sites without relevance.
  3. Update your operating system and apps to prevent ransomware and other malware from entering your devices.
  4. Use a reliable antivirus software. This can at least protect your system from known malware. Regularly update your antivirus, IPS and anti-malware tools for devices and network.
  5. Do not download apps from unknown sources. Using application whitelists can prevent unauthorized downloading and running of apps.
  6. Divide your network into security zones so that one infected area cannot easily spread to another.
  7. Do not use WEP encryption in your home WiFi, but use encryption according to the WPA/WPA2 standard.
  8. Create and maintain access rights so that as few users as possible can infect business-critical applications.
  9. Check emails for attachments. Be careful about emails with attachments from senders you do not know. There may be hidden programs that run automatically without you noticing. If in doubt, simply delete them. Check an attachment very carefully before you open it.
  10. Increase the security awareness of your employees through regular training so that they do not download files, click on e-mail attachments or follow web links in e-mails thoughtlessly. The “human factor” remains the weakest element in any security chain.

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