The ransomware crisis is going to get a lot worse

Ransomware is already a huge problem. Here’s a few tips to stay protected.

Ransomware is now the defining internet crime of our current age. It’s the inevitable consequence of the data storage becoming much cheaper and easier store and a relaxed attitude towards keeping that data safe.

Simple attacks plus user willingness to pay ransoms to get their files back means ransomware is on the rise, warn Kaspersky researchers in a recent white paper.

Businesses have an incentive to gather and store as much customer and business process data as possible to improve marketing efforts and increase efficiency, but for many organisations the best way to secure that data remains unclear. That leaves many in the situation of having vast piles of sensitive information but no guidelines for keeping it safe.

Ransomware uses encryption, one of the key technologies we use to do business and communicate online, as a tool to lock away data from its rightful owner.

In some respects, the solution to the ransomware crisis is relatively simple. Basic internet security hygiene will prevent the vast majority of attacks before they have a chance to gain a foothold. A few of the most obvious steps to take:

  • Train staff to recognize suspicious emails
    Apply software patches to keep systems up to date
    Change default passwords across all access points
    Use two-factor authentication
    Understand what your most important data is and create an effective backup strategy
    Have a plan for how to respond to a ransomware attack – and test it
    There’s every sign that this is an epidemic that will get worse, not better. The need for victims and their insurers to pay out means more crooks will be tempted to try their hand. Ransomware-as-a-service kits mean even wannabes with limited skills can try their hand at a running a scam. While some law enforcement agencies have done a good job of providing the tools to let victims decrypt their systems few ransomware gangs have faced justice, so it’s best to prevent yourself from becoming a victim in the first place.

    Want to learn more about the state of your business’s Cyber-security? Contact me to learn more.


    Jonathan Sandmel

    (505) 365-1975