If you were a cybercriminal, what would be your preferred method of launching a ransomware attack? Would you rather create a catch-all threat that could capture as many potential victims as possible, or a calculated approach to land a big one? Despite the proven results of larger ransomware initiatives, most cybercriminals have made the shift to smaller, more targeted attacks against specific companies, and in some cases, individuals.
This transition occurred last year, which saw attackers ditching the traditional approach to ransomware in favor of a more targeted approach. The previous mindset assumed that the more victims, the more would be willing to pay up. This is what made spam such an ideal way of spreading ransomware, as it could be distributed to countless victims relatively quickly. Even though this was effective, attackers have changed tactics to experiment and find a better way to accomplish the same goal.
Instead of sending out a large net to bring in several victims, smaller attacks have proven to be just as effective. Attacks targeting specific industries, company sizes, and geographic locations have been among the most effective. Ransomware attackers have even begun to use more sophisticated measures to spread their influence, particularly in regard to spear phishing emails.
Most notably, companies and businesses in finance, healthcare, higher education, and technology industries faced many campaigns designed to take advantage of ransomware events. These targets were often larger, which means that there were more endpoints to infect with the variants.
It doesn’t matter what the size of the ransomware campaign is, or if your business is in the industries targeted most by ransomware--you should be ready to protect against threats including ransomware. Today’s IT landscape can be unforgiving if you aren’t prepared to protect your infrastructure. Your company’s security needs will not be covered by one specific solution. Therefore, you need to make sure that your business is well-prepared for any ransomware attempts, including both hardware and software protection and other security best practices.
For more information on how to protect your business from ransomware, reach out to us at 605-341-3873.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.