Put yourself in the shoes of a cybercriminal. If you were to launch a ransomware attack, who would be your target? Would you launch an indiscriminate attack to try to snare as many as you could, or would you narrow your focus to be more selective? As it happens, real-life cybercriminals have largely made the shift to targeted, relatively tiny, ransomware attacks.
This transition took place over the last year, as attackers abandoned the traditional approach, which assumed that if enough potential victims were infected by ransomware, a cybercriminal could expect a number of them to pay up. Spam messages were the favorite method of spreading this kind of ransomware.
While this kind of widespread ransomware is by no means ineffective, attackers that use ransomware as their preferred tool have discovered the benefits of using it a little differently.
Rather than sending out widespread, indiscriminate attacks, there have been rising numbers of ransomware attacks that focus their efforts in on a more specific target base. Attacks have begun to be focused in on certain industries, company sizes, and geographic locations, and ransomware attackers are becoming more sophisticated and convincing in their composition of phishing emails.
This year, companies and organizations in the manufacturing, finance, healthcare, higher education, and technology industries were targeted by campaigns utilizing variant strains of common ransomwares. These targets tended to be larger, as that meant that there were more endpoints to potentially gain access to.
Regardless of the size of the ransomware campaign and if it is particularly targeted to one industry or not, you need to be prepared to protect against it. In today’s IT landscape, there isn’t a single solution to totally protect your business from these types of threats, and often businesses need to deploy managed software and hardware protection as well as commit to best practices like two-factor authentication and strong passwords.
Reach out to the professionals at Exact IT Consulting for assistance with your business’ cyber-security.