How to ensure your business isn’t held to ransom
Ransomware is a form of malware that infects computer systems, blocks access to those systems and will only be removed if the victims pay a ransom to the hackers. It is proliferating at an incredible rate - ransomware attacks grew by 4000% in 2014. It has become a much dreaded threat because of its effectiveness - 2,500 cases of ransomware, costing victims $24 million in the US alone, were reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center for 2015.
Cyber criminals spread ransomware in a number of ways
Spam email campaigns: hackers often spam their targets with emails that contain malicious links or attachments. If 1,000 employees at an organization receive one of these emails, the odds of at least one person clicking on the link are quite high. Find out more about blocking spam, viruses, phishing and file type scanning.
Internet traffic redirects to malicious websites: hackers have developed web based attack tools to hijack routers when users visit compromised websites. The purpose of this is to replace DNS servers on routers with ones the hackers control, allowing them to intercept traffic, hijack search queries, inject rogue ads on web pages etc. Find out more about web filtering, URL reputation detection of infected links and on-demand scanning of web content via the gateway.
Legit websites with malicious code: there has been a rise in the number of websites that have malicious code injected into their websites. According to industry research, 80% of websites where malicious content is present are legitimate websites that have been hacked. Find out more about web filtering, scanning links and on demand URL reputation detection.
Security exploits in vulnerable software: the number of vulnerabilities in software is increasing steadily year on year according to industry figures. Almost a quarter of these are rated as high severity. Ransomware proliferates through exploiting these vulnerabilities to target users. Keeping endpoint anti virus solutions up to date is vital for you to protect your organization.
Drive by downloads: this is where you simply visit a website – you don’t need to click on any link or accept any software download – for the malicious code to download in the background to your device. It will often exploit a browser, app or operating system that is out of date and has a security flaw. Find out more about web filtering, URL reputation detection and on-demand scanning of web content via the gateway.
Malvertising campaigns: malvertising is the use of fake online advertising to spread malware,with hackers injecting malicious adverts into legitimate online advertising networks. It is attractive to hackers as the malware can be easily spread across a large number of legitimate websites without compromising those websites. Find out more about URL reputation and link scanning.
Botnets: are a well known tool used by hackers – a botnet is a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners' knowledge, to send spam for example. A good anti virus strategy is vital to protect your organisation from botnets. Additionally, find out more about URL reputation defence, BitDefender and zVelo.
Self propagating ransomware: is when malware can replicate itself and infect additional computers – it might exploit security loop holes in software to infect servers or spread to other systems through removeable devices like network drives. Having a robust anti virus strategy and solution in place will help you protect your organisation against self-propagation.