Ransomware As A Cyber Weapon Of Choice

With many business ventures having high chances of failure in the early years, businesses rely on lessons learned to improve their odds of survival. Businesses do this by analyzing what went right or wrong and adapt based on those results.

This kind of model shouldn’t just be applied to business ventures but to many industries as the rate of cyber-attacks have only increased from year to year. Out of the many cyber-attacks we face, ransomware is the most prominent.

Why Is Ransomware The Weapon Of Choice?

Ransomware isn’t a recent trend that’s come out of nowhere. It’s been around for almost two decades and has been growing in popularity as it can easily bring financial rewards to individuals.

Currently, there are approximately 124 separate families of ransomware that hackers have become very skilled at hiding within code. While some of those families are preferred more than others, success isn’t based on whether you’re using the newest or not. It’s based on the vulnerability of a target.

And many businesses are vulnerable these days due to the COVID-19 induced digital landscape. Due to the pandemic, business models needed to shift from physical stores to online.

The problem is that not every business has a rigorous cybersecurity system. Paired with a lack of understanding of preventative measures, it’s not surprising that:

This trend will only increase more over time as ransomware payouts were $20 billion 2020, a spike from $11.5 billion in 2019 and $8 billion in 2018.

How To Protect Against Ransomware?

With hackers preferring ransomware for the foreseeable future, it’s up to us to protect ourselves. Preventing these attacks requires us to have cybersecurity awareness and be prepared for these attacks in the first place.

Some simple actions are to have anti-malware programs, secure and strong passwords, updating patches regularly, having secure routers and using VPNs while avoiding public Wi-Fi. And most importantly, not falling for phishing schemes.
However, there are two other things that you can do to help you fight ransomware.

Use Software Protection

The first is to use some software protection, there are so many choices available. One suggestion is ESET. ESET is an acronym for Essential Security against Evolving Threats. Based on that name alone, you can tell it adds an extra layer of protection on top of all the other precautions mentioned above.

In particular, ESET software is able to detect Petya and WannaCry ransomware – two of the most common form of ransomware attacks. Since 2017, this software has been detecting the spread of these ransomware attacks.

As a result of it being able to track those attacks, it can easily shield users from these attacks. It offers a multilayered malware prevention and detection program to prevent data being held hostage.

It also has features to prevent network attacks, covering up vulnerabilities in cases of patches haven’t been released or used.

And finally, it offers cloud malware protection too, analyzing submitted malware and provides endpoints without needing updates.

This is an invaluable tool to protecting your data on all fronts.

Have Backups!!!

We cannot emphasize this point enough. You must have backups. You must maintain multiple different backups. And ensure you have backups offsite and not live.

Backing up your computer frequently is definitely another way to protect yourself against these attacks. With ransomware, these attacks are to encrypt and seize various files. You can’t access them until you pay the hacker money to gain access to those files. It’s a very devastating situation for many individuals and organizations who get hit.

In instances of WannaCry ransomware, that ransomware can make your computer inaccessible after a period of time as well.

All of this can be easily mitigated by having an external backup that hackers can’t get access to. Of course, software protection programs such as ESET help, but backups are also mandatory.

Backups have all the important files that you need and aren’t corrupted. Therefore, you can access those files in another way without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them back or even potentially losing them forever.

And if the hacker makes your whole computer inaccessible, the sad reality is it’s cheaper in every instance to buy a new computer than to pay the ransom. You can restore your files on your new computer through your backup.