Ransomware attacks continue to grow in 2016 and are now one of the single biggest threats posed to individuals and businesses on the Internet. Everyone is a potential ransomware victim. Ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated, more targeted and potentially far more damaging. A recent report from Trend Micro highlights just how much ransomware attacks continue to increase. So, is your business prepared for a Ransomware attack?

Initial ransomware attacks were generally aimed at individuals on the Internet, as these were generally considered the easiest targets. Individuals would generally have lower security, out of date software, and a lower level of technical knowledge, making them the ideal victims for cybercriminals.

However recently cybercriminals have become bolder, the ransomware software much more sophisticated, and more and more businesses have found themselves targeted and victims of ransomware attacks.

The reasoning behind this is simple. Most businesses simply cannot afford the downtime that is caused by a ransomware attack and would be willing to pay a much larger ransom to get their files and systems back online and operational. There is also the reputational damage to consider after an attack.

While many businesses and organizations would like to believe they have strong security and measures in place to mitigate the risk or damage of an attack the reality is that it only takes one area for weakness for ransomware to exploit. Recent ransomware variants have become highly sophisticated in their methods to successfully target and attack servers and backups. Even cloud based systems are now vulnerable. The goal is simple; the more of your business they can take offline, and the harder they make it to recover, the more likely it is that you will pay.

Recent ransomware attacks have even started targeting specific industries. This year saw the healthcare industry become a primary target for cybercriminals. This came after a successful ransomware attack on the Hollywood Hospital netted the attackers some US$17K in BitCoin ransom.  With the hospital systems taken offline for over a week, the decision was made to pay the attackers as the fastest method to recovery. The healthcare industry is now a primary target of ransomware.

If reading this article has you concerned, you need to ask yourself two questions? Is my businesses doing everything it can to minimize the chance of an attack? And in the event of an attack, are we prepared for disaster recovery? There is no one solution for this and there are so many factors to consider that it can be hard to know where to begin. That is why it is important to talk to industry experts who can help you identify and implement strategies to mitigate the risks and recover from potential attacks.

Further reading: Ransomware: What your business needs to know

Worried about a Ransomware Attack?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333