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Future Of Ransomware 2022

A ransomware attack is the latest form of cyber attack. You or an employee might click on a seemingly innocent email or link, and just like that, the ransomware will enter your system. It then encrypts your files or locks your system, which you can only undo by paying the attacker’s demands.

However, paying the ransom is not enough most of the time. You will only be opening yourself up to many future cyber-attack possibilities. Therefore, proper maintenance of cyber security, implementing antivirus, and keeping a backup of your data are crucial for business security.

Ransomware attacks are only increasing. And with the advancement of RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) technology, attackers don’t even need to have the coding expertise that older hackers required. Read on to find out more about this situation and how you can save yourself from it.

 

How Much Can A Ransomware Attack Cost Your Business?

There is an estimation that a typical Ransomware attack costs a business around 580,417 pounds. However, this is only a rough estimation. Because the attacker can demand a huge amount of ransom if they think your business can afford it.

Needless to mention, many after-effects of such a cyber attack can further deteriorate a company’s condition. In other words, you cannot estimate the cost of a ransomware attack in mere money. Because the impact is far worse than that. Let’s have a look.

 

Time Of Prolonged Unproductivity

After a ransomware attack, a company’s productivity drops by more than a hundred percent. And on average, this period of unproductivity, or downtime, can continue for 22 days. This is true for companies of all sizes. Even big and established companies can’t avoid the Downtime associated with such a cyber attack.

When a business is under a ransomware attack, it must tackle multiple challenges simultaneously. For instance, the entire I.T. infrastructure and data that customers and employees rely on goes offline. That results in angry and dissatisfied customers. Meanwhile, the company can’t successfully recover its data because of the non-functioning systems.

 

Generalized Bad Impression About The Company

Building up a brand name is not a day’s task. It takes years of consistent effort to create a good impression among the public. However, only one ransomware attack can be enough to destroy a company’s reputation. Moreover, the public is likely to hold the company accountable for not being more careful about its cyber security.

The first effect of a ransomware attack is the company’s inability to deliver its regular service to clients. As a result, the customers get frustrated about the service and might consider switching to a competitor.

However, with the advancement in cyber attack technologies, something worse could happen. For instance, the attackers can get hold of the customer’s sensitive information and start blackmailing them personally. This will further anger the customers of the brand because they think the company could have avoided this if they had been more careful.

 

Leakage Of Valuable Information

The reason established companies are taking strict measures to prevent ransomware attacks is to conserve the sensitive information of their companies. For instance, an attacker can get hold of product blueprints or some future business plans.

If this information leaked, the company’s existence might be at risk. Let alone the loss of millions of dollars.

Therefore, always archive and get rid of the ROTS data for your company. Plus, restrict access to these files as much as you can. So, fewer people on your staff know about the data.

 

Increasing Cost Of Cyber-insurance

Compared to 2020, cyber-insurance raised by 123%. So, a business cannot fall back on insurance to manage the ransomware damages as they could before. Plus, insurance companies are getting increasingly stricter with their cyber-attack policies. And they cover fewer areas of cyber attack damage compared to former years.

The reason for this unfriendly attitude from insurance companies is that they don’t have a choice either. Because ransomware attacks have increased so much in recent times, it is impossible to keep up. Therefore, the emphasis is more on better management of the company’s I.T. infrastructure and security.

 

Increase In Ransomware Attacks In U.K. & Ireland

Worldwide, the number of ransomware attacks has increased by 1,885 percent. There are many factors contributing to this astonishing increase in cyber attacks.

For instance, once you attack a business, you get an overall idea of the vulnerabilities in their I.T. infrastructure. So, the attacker who got a taste of monetary success after an attack is inclined to do it again.

Another reason is that you don’t need to be a genius coder to carry out these attacks. All you need is a subscription with the RaaS and use a Tor browser.

If we narrow down the percentage of cyber-attacks at home, we get a similar picture. In the U.K., from 2019-to 2020, approximately 2.2 million people’s data was subject to a ransomware attack.

However, the number jumped twentyfold in the latter year. From 2021-to 2022, around 42.2 million people suffered from a cyber attack, which means a 1700 percent rise in only a matter of three years!

Ireland is also experiencing something similar. Since June 2020, there has been a 413% rise in ransomware attacks in the country. And the trend is only estimated to continue because even many large and powerful companies have given into the demands of cyber criminals to save their companies.

 

Ransomware As A Service: The Future Of Cybercrime

RaaS or Ransomware As A Service is a service for cyber criminals that lets them buy ransomware software and use it to carry out cyber attacks. Here, the criminals don’t need to know how to write complex code because these are low-code or no-code (LCNC) applications.

It is almost like signing up for any other online service or buying an app. You just pay the fees and enjoy the product. This is why their popularity is only increasing, and developers are competing to create more advanced malware.

In the past, cyber attacks or hacking were often carried out by some curious coder looking to prove his or her skills. Or, it might have been protesting against government policies and fascism.

But with the introduction of RaaS, real criminals, who care about absolutely nothing except some quick money, have come into the arena. And that has made the cyberwar all the more dangerous and unpredictable.

 

How Does It Work?

 

Ransomware needs an attack vector to enter a company’s system. Usually, email scams are the most popular among attackers for this purpose. When a victim clicks on this email or link, the ransomware downloads itself on the computer or device.

After downloading, the ransomware moves through the system laterally and paralyzes the security protocols- antivirus software, firewall, etc. After it compromises the cyber defense mechanism, it will start encrypting the files. At one point, all the files became inaccessible.

When the ransomware has taken over all the data, the attacker can leak it, sell it in the marketplace, or hold it hostage.

Depending on the attacker’s choice, the software sends a notification to the victim stating the current situation and asking for a ransom. The attackers will provide a cryptographic key for accessing the encrypted files upon payment. However, the files are often damaged to the point where recovery is impossible.

Usually, the ransom demand is stated in cryptocurrency. And the criminals use onion routers for their operations. Therefore, neither the money nor the attack can be traced back to them. They will vanish in the same way they suddenly appeared one day.

 

Development and Profits

Malware developers keep two things in mind when developing ransomware. First, it should be able to complete the task with a 100% success rate. Secondly, it must be able to hide extremely well. So that no one can detect the software until it has announced its existence.

They also build the software with a cloud-native design. Therefore, it can work with a multi-end user structure and various licensing schemes. The developer will also provide all the necessary step-by-step instructions on how to use the software (like you get when you buy Microsoft) for the client.

As for the developers’ profits, it’s just like any other Software As A Service product. You can get it as a one-time purchase. But then you have to do the updating and maintenance yourself. This is why most criminals prefer a monthly subscription-based model.

 

Preventing A Ransomware Attack

Prevention is the only way to save yourself from a ransomware attack. Because ransom payment will only make the attackers interested in attacking you again. Plus, even with the encryption key they provide, you won’t be able to retrieve many of your valuable files.

Therefore, your best option is to have a bulletproof cyber security management program. However, conjuring up something like that takes a lot of effort. You have to dedicate a lot of time and money to it. And that can make you lose focus on your actual business.

So, just as cyber criminals use RaaS to handle all technical aspects of their crime, you can hire an I.T. Infrastructure management companies like us handle the overwhelming technical aspects of cyber security.

At WesTech Technologies, we are offering a complete Cybersecurity Management Service. Once you sign up with us, our experts and technologies will always be on the lookout for possible attacks and effectively prevent them. Contact us to know more. And if you think your systems are well-secured, why not take a free cybersecurity assessment test.

 

Conclusion

 

Proper management of your company’s cyber security is the only way to save yourself from a ransomware attack or any other cyber attack. And implementing an antivirus or keeping a backup of your data is not always enough.

 

Therefore, to ensure business continuity, sign up for a professional service.