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IT Security & Cybersecurity

The Rise of Ransomware

Why Ransomware’s Exponential Growth Should Concern You

We are living through an unprecedented age of cybercrime. Specifically, rates of the malicious software (malware), ransomware, are growing exponentially. A ransomware attack occurs when a cyber threat actor (hacker) gains access to your system, encrypts your data, locks you out of your systems and demands a ransom to restore access.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a new task force specializing in combatting cybercrime. Ransomware has become such a problem that there was a formal response from our government to protect the integrity of US businesses!

Just as instances of ransomware expand so does the sophistication of cybercriminals. In this post, we explore why ransomware is the biggest threat facing modern business owners.

Ransomware’s Rise in Popularity

The first documented report of ransomware was in 1989. In the three decades since its inception, ransomware has grown from a single incident to a global epidemic. Now, experts estimate that a ransomware attack occurs every 11 seconds.

It is a common misconception that cybercriminals only target large organizations. The truth is that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are often a more attractive option. Smaller organizations typically require less skill to infiltrate with significantly less consequences if the breach is detected.

Another reason why cybercriminals target SMBs is because of the growing need for staff to work remotely. In the wake of the pandemic, SMBs were left vulnerable to cyberattacks because of the need to hastily deploy work-from-home solutions, which in some cases lacked IT security planning.

As droves of people shifted to remote work last year, hackers seized opportunities to exploit them. In fact, there has been a 62% increase in rates of ransomware since 2019. That number is only expected to increase in the future.

Kaseya Attack Sets New Standard for Ransomware

Rates of ransomware are predicted to rise because cybercriminals are gaining sophistication. With each new attack, hackers set a new standard for unprecedented ransomware tactics.

Already this year, we have witnessed devastating invasions on a major U.S. pipeline and the world’s largest meat packing company. While these attacks were concerning, they pale in comparison to the attack on the technology firm, Kaseya.

On the Friday afternoon before 4th of July weekend 2021, the biggest criminal ransomware spree in history took place. A Russian hacker group known as REvil invaded Kaseya’s network and seized a monumental amount of customer data.

Cyber threat actors exploited a never-before-seen security vulnerability in the Kaseya software known as “zero-day attack”. Because Kaseya provides software to IT solutions providers, the virus was able to reach 1500+ small and mid-sized business around the globe.

The attack on Kaseya demonstrates how cybercriminals are advancing their tactics faster than security vulnerabilities can be addressed. This incident also demonstrates how a “supply chain style” attack can take down thousands of businesses at once. NPR referred to the attack as “the single biggest global ransomware attack on record.”

The best way to defend yourself against cyberthreats is to deploy a multi-layered strategy.

Ransomware Protection

As IT professionals, clients always ask for a single solution that prevents ransomware & other cyber-threats. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for threat protection. The best way to defend yourself against cyberthreats is to deploy a multi-layered strategy.

For example, securing your email system is a great starting place, since most ransomware & other attacks originate over email, you might consider training your team on how to identify phishing emails How to Identify a Phishing Scam. This training would help your team identify a cyberthreat to your organization and protect you in the event of a malicious attack.

To add another layer to your email security posture, you could also consider an email SPAM filtering/encryption solution. A service like Barracuda can mitigate spam and malware through advanced inbound filtering functionality.


NOYNIM IT Solutions 

At NOYNIM, we can help you identify which cybersecurity services are necessary for your business, given IT security & cybersecurity services vary in scope depending on client requirements. The best security strategy for your business will leverage all relevant services to create multi-layered protection against ransomware & other cyberthreats.

To learn more, we encourage you to read our post Should Your Company Consider Managed Cybersecurity Services? In short, engaging with a managed cybersecurity provider is a wise investment for savvy business leaders. At NOYNIM, our staff is comprised of seasoned IT professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines.

We recruit IT engineers with strong technical expertise, many of whom were previously employed at Fortune 500 companies. Our team has experience managing a wide variety of IT environments. From IT for small businesses to complex large corporations, we offer custom IT solutions that align with your business goals. We can also help develop a Business Continuity Plan in case your business does encounter a disaster.

Our clients experience friendly interactions, deep expertise, superior response times, and reliable service from our expert-level certified team of engineers. We understand that outsourcing your IT is a big decision. That is why we focus on establishing a highly personalized, responsive & collaborative partnership. Together, we create an IT strategy that fuels your business goals with an emphasis on keeping your network secure.

Date Published: August 2, 2021

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