Ransomware attacks are on the rise for this simple reason: it’s a low-risk, high-reward venture.
With many forms of cybercrime, hackers have to remain under the radar until they have found their target. This is difficult because each attack involves a multi-step process and each step presents the fresh possibility of being detected. With ransomware, once infiltration has occurred, systems are locked immediately and a demand for ransom is initiated to release them.
The ransomware CryptoLocker, which holds your data hostage until payment is made, has an estimated 41% success rate. This means more than one-third of victims eventually pay the ransom, but even if a ransom is paid there is no guarantee of a complete recovery. It is extremely difficult to stop these attacks once they start and for authorities to identify and prosecute perpetrators.
Why is this type of attack so successful? While much of it is certainly attributed to the improved technology and methods of the hacker, the attacker also relies on the psychology of fear. A Trend Micro report said it best:
“In 2016, online threats will evolve to rely more on mastering the psychology behind each scheme than mastering the technical aspects of the operations. Attackers will continue to use fear as a major component of the scheme, as it has proven to be effective in the past.”
If 2016 was the “year of online extortion”, what does that make 2017? Secure data is of the utmost importance in any organization. Do not make your business a statistic of ransomeware attacks.