2019 Ransomware Attacks Outpace 2018
The number of ransomware attacks recorded in the first half of 2019 surpassed the total number recorded in all of 2018, according to a report by Chubb. Additionally, the company found that the attacks increased by 84 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Ransomware is a type of software that typically encrypts a victim’s data or network accessibility, crippling their ability to conduct business. The person conducting the attack usually makes a ransom demand in exchange for a decryption tool. These attacks are generally carried out through email phishing campaigns that contain malicious links or attachments. The ransomware identifies key data files and system components, including backup files, and encrypts them to prevent access.
Chubb’s report noted that any company of any size or industry can be affected by a cyberattack, but manufacturing firms are often targeted because they have a greater incentive to pay the ransom to continue business operations. Professional service firms are also affected because they are generally email based and there is a greater chance that a malicious link will be accessed.
With the number of ransomware attacks increasing among businesses, it is more important than ever to remain diligent. Firms should aim to detect phishing emails and employ anti-virus software. Additionally, data backups should be consistent and up-to-date and should be segregated from the main system to avoid deletion by the bad actor.