Advancements in technology have caused a significant increase in the amount of digital malware generated every year. No matter how strong our firewalls get, those who intend to do harm always find a way to seep into our private space.
Ransomware isn’t just malicious but could also threaten your business into paying a ransom amount. It could either cripple your entire IT framework or freeze all your essential and highly confidential digital documents. If you don’t pay the ransom in time, the malware might permanently corrupt or sell this sensitive information.
Since the first known “AIDS Trojan” ransomware attack in 1989, the sophistication level of ransomware has dramatically increased along with the damage that they can cause. So what does ransomware do to your business, and why is it unstoppable? Let’s find out.
1. Ransomware Is A Business Model
The hackers who use ransomware see it as a business model. Determining the overall net worth of this business is tricky. Since the FBI does not recommend businesses to pay the ransom amount, most businessmen never report if attacked.
This makes it even more challenging to track the number of cases each year or the cash flow. A survey from IBM says that over 40% of businesses choose to pay ransom money.
Annually, ransomware attacks are causing an estimated $5 billion loss to companies worldwide which is multiple times higher than the last survey in 2015 ($325 million).
2. The Cashflow Is Huge
Ransomware has been robbing businesses for over 30 years. But back in the day, the only mode to transfer the ransom amount was through banks and gift cards which were a risky bet. But with the emergence of cryptocurrencies like bitcoins, ransomware hackers are figuratively invisible.
The payments that a victim makes as bitcoins are irrefutable, so the company can never reverse the payment whatsoever. Technologies like VPN that help businesses stay secure are also supporting these attackers in staying anonymous.
Bitcoins have also made it easy for them to demand huge ransom transactions. Since there’s no way to trace the crypto payment back to the hacker, they are becoming more unstoppable.
3. Hackers Have An Insane Profit Margin
Do you know how easy it is for a hacker to purchase a ransomware toolkit? A rough estimation by Carbon Black states that more than 6,000 dark web markets are selling upwards of 45,000 ransomware toolkits.
The days where hackers have to compile their own malware are long gone. Ransomware could cost as low as $0.50 per bundle and could go up to $3,000.
FBI states that the average ransom demands were somewhere around $12,000. This gives an insane 75% profit margin to a hacker.
4. They Cover Their Tracks Efficiently
Ransomware is a business, and like any business, the owner would only want to protect the business model that he has built. Hackers employ an advanced diversion strategy.
Most commonly, they might destroy your logs along with their backups. This means that your IT team will have no idea about the extent of the damage. Some might leak your critical data to the outside world to throw you off of their scent.
5.Ransomware Attacks Your Entire Business Chain
“Island Hopping” is another important strategy that ransomware hackers use. They first infiltrate small vendors such as HR and marketing that a large business has employed. And through them, they infect the entire supply chain.
They know that these large companies have strict firewalls, making it difficult for them to get into. But these low-level vendors have vulnerable spots that they can exploit. This trojan horse tactic has been prevalent in almost every ransomware attack to date.
Most small or medium-size business owners work with multiple vendors for their IT needs. If you are one of them, it is time to switch to vendors with a robust firewall. Or to encourage your current vendor to stay vigilant. If you don’t, ransomware could cripple your business in no time and this is how: How Being Vulnerable To Ransomware Can Crush Your Business?
Frequent system patches and backups are equally crucial because recovering from a ransomware attack is impossible without them. Always have backups in multiple locations, so multiple copies stay safe even if one location gets compromised.
Working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can help you forge a strong defense against ransomware attacks. CTS is the best it can get. If you’d like us to scan your systems for vulnerabilities and host effective backups. Contact A CTS Expert to have a free demonstration of our services.