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Ransomware increases by eight-fold in 2016

Ransomware saw a more than eight-fold (752 per cent) increase as a mode of attack in 2016, according to Trend Micro. Small businesses faced more ransomware attacks in the third quarter of 2016.

The infosec firm estimates file-scrambling malware families such as Locky and Goldeneye raked in $1 billion in 2016.

Kaspersky Security Network has also reported that there were 27,471 attempts to block access to corporate data detected and repelled by Kaspersky Small Office Security in Q3 2016, compared to 3,224 similar attacks during the same period of 2015.

In Kaspersky Lab’s Corporate IT Security Risks 2016 study more than half of respondents from small businesses (55%) reported that it had taken them several days to restore access to encrypted data after an attack.

This danger has been maintained by recent WannaCrypt attacks and the latest threat Eternal Rocks, which has no kill switch and continues to grow.

Ransomware blocks all operations or encrypts critical business data until a ransom is paid. A successful ransomware attack usually leads to significant financial loss or even the shutdown of critical business processes, something which can have a significant impact on a small company.

Crooks behind ransomware attacks in general are targeting organisations rather than individual consumers blocking important business files like database in order to inflict maximum damage and extract more amount.

Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) has grown in the past few years. RaaS means that unskilled crooks can hire code and rent the command and control infrastructure they need to run ransomware attacks.

In order to minimize risks, businesses need to take preventative measures to address ransomware threats. Minimal security requirements should include educating personnel on how to resist social engineering and phishing attempts, how to update software on their devices and how to implement high-end information security solutions suitable for a small company’s needs. Trend Micro advises that individuals and organizations should maintain regular back-ups of key data: three copies, two formats, and one air-gapped from the network.
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