Welcome to 2021. Yes, Ransomware is still a concern.

Written by: Derek Pocoroba

In 2020 when companies had to transform themselves overnight to support a new workplace experience, it forced many companies to work anywhere without taking all the necessary cybersecurity precautions. Ransomware provided a vast attack surface for threat actors and hackers. Many breaches in the latter part of the year exposed that. A significant threat that many industry leaders feel still looms is Ransomware.

What has made Ransomware even more successful? It is the criminal organizations that have taken a proven business model for providing Ransomware as a Service.

What is Ransomware?

In short, Ransomware is malware that, once installed, can encrypt or lock the entire or parts of a system. It can essentially render access to the data (Files, ERP, CRP) useless. There have been many public cases of Ransomware Infection. It is highly effective as it’s easy to distribute and infect. Threat actors will often ask for payment in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for the “keys” to unlock the data. There is no guarantee that if you paid a ransom, they would send you the key.

Enter Ransomware as a Service

Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is nothing new; it has gained momentum since around 2015. What makes RaaS so scary is how easy criminal organizations can create and deploy a campaign.

These RaaS providers can either charge a small subscription fee, the same way you might subscribe or license your email provider, or another way they make their profit is by taking a percentage of the Ransom collected. Many of these RaaS providers make things as easy for their customers as possible, easy to use portals, tech support, etc. Anything to help the criminal set up and run a successful campaign, scary right?

This can turn nearly anyone into a “hacker” with minimal to zero coding experience. With the technical and actual costs so low to Ransomware, it’s no wonder it has been on the rise with new variants continually being developed. Many companies have turned to relaxed security to accommodate working from anywhere. Many are still very prone to Ransomware having huge business impacts on the bottom line and revenue. As well as a non-financial issue such as reputation damage.

What can you do to prevent it?

  • Don’t click those phishy links! No really… don’t click them. Phishing emails are a widespread and highly effective way to start the process of infection.
  • Educate: dealing with technology is harder; dealing with people can be even harder. Having a robust and constant cybersecurity training operation in place is vital. These can help train users to look for suspicious emails, phone calls, texts, etc.
  • Protect: Having a solid defense-in-depth cybersecurity platform is also a must. Things such as email and spam filters and endpoint protection software can look at anomalies in real-time. Even if one or two attacks get through, it’s better than having your entire fleet of users infected. Patching your systems is also a key component. Software vendors are doing their best to stay vigilant and provide updates. They must be installed, especially for critical security bugs.
  • Backup: Finally, back up your data! If all else fails, this is your last line of defense in a successful ransomware attack. Having secure and usually tiered, offsite hosted backups will allow you to restore your data and business to normal operations. Yes, you also need to test these backups work. The last thing you want to do is find that out in a time of a real emergency; they are not.

These are just some examples of how you can help prevent RaaS.

Triden Group is here to help you get your security on track.  With a variety of offerings, Triden Group and our partners are committed to helping you with cybersecurity solutions that meet your organizations specific needs.

Are you ready to combat 2021’s Ransomware threats?  Contact us today.


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