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The Real Reason Ransomware Attacks Are Up—and Why it Affects You

Sep 15, 2021, 14:39 PM by Nick Natale

There’s an important element in the worldwide ransomware saga that’s either underreported or missing entirely in almost every new story about these attacks. Whether you manage IT for a large organisation or a small business, you need to know what it is.

 

Most media outlets covering the recent high-value-target incidents—from an attack on a top European telecom in 2020, to the shutdown of the US East Coast’s biggest gasoline supplier—point out that ransomware is on the rise around the world. Many of these journalists also offer several logical explanations for the increase. For example:

 

  • COVID

As the media notes, hackers took advantage of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities created when millions of businesses suddenly had to close their offices and let their staff access and share sensitive data outside the corporate firewall.


  • Geopolitics

The media often cites intelligence and law enforcement agencies claiming that many of these recent attacks are sponsored—or at least tolerated—by governments hostile to the countries where the victimised organisations are headquartered.


  • Cryptocurrency

Finally, as journalists explain, the availability of anonymous digital currencies like Bitcoin make it easier for ransomware attackers to collect payment in ways that authorities can’t trace.

 

Those are all valid reasons that help explain, at least in part, why ransomware attacks are rising so rapidly all over the world. But there’s a more fundamental reason that we often overlook.


Ransomware is on the rise because it works

 

The victims are paying up.

 

According to a report published in 2020 by Corporate Compliance Insights, 57% of ransomware victims give in to the attackers’ demands.

 

Why this affects your business

 

Ransomware hackers around the world are succeeding. They’re “earning” “revenues” by locking businesses out of their networks and demanding payment to restore access. Every time this tactic works, it encourages those attackers to find more victims—and new hackers to get into the “business” as well.

 

In other words, with every ransomware success, the risk increases for every business—including yours—of a future attack.

 

Which is why, as Reuters reported in June 2021, US FBI Director Christopher Wray pleaded with organisations to stand up to ransomware attackers’ demands:

 

“We would discourage paying the ransom because it encourages more of these attacks, and frankly, there is no guarantee whatsoever that you are going to get your data back.”

—   Chris Wray, Director, FBI, speaking to a United States Senate Panel

 

Go on offence against the hackers

 

Rather than get forced into that awful decision—pay ransom, or risk losing your mission-critical data forever—you can take the proactive approach and block the hackers from infecting your networks with their miserable malware in the first place.

 

The latest version of Asigra’s enterprise cloud backup solution, “Evolved 14,” features the industry’s first zero-day Ransomware Attack Loop preventative technology. The innovative solution has already won numerous industry awards, including the Data Storage Magazine award for Anti-Ransomware Software Innovation.

 

As one of the TechTarget.com judges wrote: “This is the best data protection I have seen anywhere in preventing ransomware from infecting backups or erasing them. Very complete, comprehensive data protection solution at a very low cost.”


Here are just some of those comprehensive anti-ransomware capabilities:


  • Continuous scanning across the network, including backups, for threatening code

  • Attack Loop prevention

  • Zero-day exploit protection

  • Soft-delete capability

  • Variable file naming

  • Deep multi-factor authorization (MFA)

 

Learn more about ransomware prevention by speaking with KeepItSafe—an award-winning Asigra partner and white glove technology service provider.

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