Ransomware Outlook for 2020

MARCH 2ND, 2020
According to Cybercrime Magazine, an organization will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by the end of 2021. You know the threat. And, chances are you or someone you know has already dealt with a ransomware attack. But as we look ahead, what will the remainder of 2020 hold? Will ransomware attacks slow down? Or do we have to continue to bolster our defenses?

Ransomware Trends for 2020

Ransomware attacks continue to affect many cities and businesses. As we look ahead in 2020 these attacks won’t slow down. Here’s what we see ahead:
  • Ransomware attacks on businesses will continue to increaseThe number of business-related complaints reported to the FBI grows every year; so does the financial burden on companies that result from cybercrime. But, there’s been a shift in the landscape according to cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes, with fewer consumer detections of ransomware year over year from Q2 2018 to Q2 2019, and more attacks on businesses, governments, and other organizations.
  • Attacks will be more targeted
    While ransomware was long associated with mass attacks on consumers, Malwarebytes also reports that attackers will likely unleash more attacks on carefully selected businesses.
  • Attacks will be more sophisticatedMany attacks leverage spoofed emails to install ransomware on a system. These attacks can be incredibly sophisticated. On top of that, social engineering scams are slick enough to dupe even the savviest sysadmins. What are you doing to educate yourself and your users about the latest attacks?
  • Ransoms will be higherThroughout 2019, the payments made by ransomware victims increased to around $84K, doubling in just a quarter. You can expect that number to keep going up.
  • New ransomware strains will appear Cryptolocker. Robinhood. The list goes on and on. You can be certain new strains of ransomware will show up in an inbox near you. Will you know one when you see one? Will your users?

What You Can Do

Cyberwarfare is an arms race. You must have better tools and the knowhow to outfox cybercriminals who want your cash. Here are a few smart moves you should make:
  • Get Cybersecurity InsuranceNew Orleans had an insurance policy to protect them from cybercrime, but it wasn’t enough to remediate the large ransomware attack that crippled the city last year. This year, the city hopes to raise its policy to $10 million. Have you reviewed your own policy? Have your clients?
  • Find Faster Ways to RecoverThe cost of remediating cybersecurity issues is enough to make the average organization consider paying the ransom. Some governments (like Lake City, Florida) do pay the ransoms. For those that don’t pay, financial losses don’t always come from lost data. They often come from downtime and an organization’s inability to conduct business. You can reduce the costs associated with ransomware with the right backup and disaster recovery plan in place.
  • Emphasize Flexibility in Your Disaster Recovery PlanA good disaster recovery plan will include making backups and establishing fast paths to recovery. Many organizations can recover from ransomware, but the cost is high, both in terms of downtime and recovering data that’s locked up. That’s why flexibility is critical.

Final Thoughts

Mitigating ransomware starts with a rock-solid backup and disaster recovery plan. From there, consider how quickly and flexibly you can recover. When ransomware strikes, how do you limit downtime? If you’re responsible for multiple branches or locations, how will you know who’s been affected by ransomware? How will you fix it, fast? With the right plan in place, ransomware isn’t as frightening as it might sound. Looking for rock-solid backups you can count on? Consider how StorageCraft can help you with advanced data protection from ransomware or any other data disaster that comes your way.

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