Ransomware Attack

Ransomware

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According to Statista, ransomware attacks have been increasing since 2018 with a 68.5% year-over-year increment between 2020 and 2021. In comparison, the years-over-year increment between 2019 and 2020 was 62% (Statista). In 2021 alone, over 80% of organizations will experience at least one ransomware attack according to a study by Claroty x Forbes

These stats call for individuals and organizations to tighten their security against ransomware and many other forms of malware. In this article, we will discuss how ransomware works and some of the Mitigation strategies you can use to avoid being the next victim. Let’s dive in!

How does ransomware work? 

Ransomware attack is some form of malicious software that locks and encrypts a victim’s computer and asks for a ransom to restore it. When this malicious software gets installed on your machine, you will no longer have access to your personal files, including photos, videos, financial information, and any other documents on your computer. 

Practically, those files are still present on your computer, but the ransomware has encrypted your device’s storage, making it impossible to access anything before making the payment. One may ask how does this malicious software gain access to your computer in the first place. The common ways malware gets installed on our computers is when we download files or install apps from unauthorized sources or click unsecure links and attachments in emails. 

Most ransomware attackers request the payments to be made using crypto since such transactions are harder to track than those made through the mainstream banking systems. The attackers also give the victim a time limit within which the ransom should be paid or risk losing all the data on their computer. 

Since these attacks are carried out by cybercriminals on the dark web, making the payment may not necessarily give you access back to your computer or data. But most of the time they do give the victims access to their data or computers after they have made the payment. 

Mitigation strategy 

There are several ways you can safeguard yourself or your organization from being the next victim of malware attacks. Some of the mitigation strategies you can use include the following;

  1. Avoid opening links and email attachments from unknown sources: A study by purplesec indicated that over 92% of malware, including ransomware, is delivered via email. 
  2. Avoid installing apps from unknown sources: We recommend downloading apps from the official app stores such as the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. If your operating system allows sideloading, it is best to download the apps you want to sideload from the official developer’s website. For instance, if you want to install Google chrome, it is best to download it from Google’s official chrome site. 
  3. Avoid using USB storage devices from unknown sources: USB drives are among the common medium for transmitting malicious software from one computer to another. 
  4. Make sure your OS and apps are up to date: All major operating systems release regular security updates to patch any detected loopholes that attackers could take advantage of. Third-party developers do this too. 
  5. Have a backup of your device: If you already have a backup of your machine, you can easily wipe it in case of a ransomware attack. You can then restore the OS and your data from the backup thereafter. 

Gensys Technology provides low cost, engaging and effective security awareness training to organizations. These video courses teach users basic security concepts including how to identify ransomware techniques employed by attackers. For more information and to get a free trial contact us today.

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Ransomware Attack

According to Statista, ransomware attacks have been increasing since 2018 with a 68.5% year-over-year increment between 2020 and 2021. In comparison, the years-over-year increment between

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