Story image

Ransomware: A malware king, but business complacency might be lurking

25 Jul 18

Ransomware has fast become one of the malware kings to the point where you don’t have to go far to find someone who isn’t aware of the dangers.

Wannacry and NotPetya helped to put ransomware in the spotlight. Barracuda Networks senior vice president of International, Chris Ross, wonders if IT teams are focusing too much on one particular type of threat.

In a blog posted today, he notes that of a survey of 630 organisations across the world, the number of businesses that believe ransomware is a concern has dropped from 91% to 84% in the last year.

Although that’s still a majority, fewer businesses have also fallen victim – from 48% to 30% in the last year.

This could suggest that businesses are better equipped, but they’re still willing to pay the ransom. The survey found that 19% of respondents have paid the ransom – a jump from 3% in 2017.

“Perhaps greater awareness of the issue has also led to greater awareness of the potential consequences of not reaching a swift resolution,” Ross says.

Although experts and law enforcement strongly recommend that businesses refuse to pay the ransom and fund criminal organisations, the increase in payments does pose a concern.

“We would urge businesses, regardless of how confident they are that they’ve got the right protection in place, to carry out regular backups meaning that they had another copy of the information and/or systems that were under attack,” Ross says.

Amongst EMEA respondents, 32% say that ransomware is the single most expensive threat to deal with, mostly due to the ransom demands to get data back.

The survey found that 74% of ransomware attacks entered via email; 18% via web traffic; and 18% via network traffic.

“This reiterates the importance of having a comprehensive plan to defend against phishing attacks. Phishing and social engineering tactics are specially designed to trick employees into clicking on links and opening malicious attachments in emails spoofed to appear as if sent from a reputable source. Ultimately, until organisations get better at educating their users, this tactic will continue to pay dividends for the black hats.”

He says that businesses should back up regularly and the 3-2-1 backup rule can help diffuse the severity of a ransomware attack.

What is the 3-2-1 rule?

3.  Make three copies of all of your data

2.  Store those copies in two different environments (cloud, on-premises etc)

1.  Keep one backup copy offsite so it can be kept safe from any environmental issues.

Disruption in the supply chain: Why IT resilience is a collective responsibility
"A truly resilient organisation will invest in building strong relationships while the sun shines so they can draw on goodwill when it rains."
Businesses too slow on attack detection – CrowdStrike
The 2018 CrowdStrike Services Cyber Intrusion Casebook reveals IR strategies, lessons learned, and trends derived from more than 200 cases.
Proofpoint launches feature to identify most targeted users
“One of the largest security industry misconceptions is that most cyberattacks target top executives and management.”
McAfee named Leader in Magic Quadrant an eighth time
The company has been once again named as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management.
Symantec and Fortinet partner for integration
The partnership will deliver essential security controls across endpoint, network, and cloud environments.
Is Supermicro innocent? 3rd party test finds no malicious hardware
One of the larger scandals within IT circles took place this year with Bloomberg firing shots at Supermicro - now Supermicro is firing back.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Google Cloud, Palo Alto Networks extend partnership
Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks have extended their partnership to include more security features and customer support for all major public clouds.