Global ransomware attacks increased by 715%, study says

Global ransomware attacks increased by 715%, study says

November 12, 2020

A ransomware or malware attack is a malicious software that prevents users from accessing their files; the attacker will demand a ransom payment in order for the user to regain access. 

Sophos, an IT security company conducted a study across 26 countries with 5000 IT managers on the State of Ransomware in 2020. The study determined that attackers use a variety of methods to enter a network until they find a weak spot, but the most popular methods are through email attachments and links (29%), or through a remote server (21%). Other entry points include: the cloud, a remote desktop protocol, a third-party working with the organization, and a USB or removable disc. 

A ransom attack is costly whether the ransom is paid or isn’t. The average cost for organizations who didn’t pay the ransom is US$732,520 to restore data, while organizations who do pay the ransom usually spend  US$1,448,458 on top of restoring data.

This year, the coronavirus threats are the new theme. According to Bitdefender’s Mid- Year Threat Landscape Report 2020, global ransomware reports increased by 715% suggesting attackers are capitalizing on pandemic fears and weak spots in work- from- home networks.


How do you protect yourself?

Having assisted a number of customers recover from serious ransomware attacks, the best way to protect your network from the increasing risk in 2020, is with a strong back-up strategy. 

We recommend companies follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This means keeping three copies of your data, two of which are on-site but on different mediums and at least one copy off-site. 

There are a variety of options available for holding your on-site back-up storage. Depending on the amount of storage, you can look at anything from a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) to an external hard drive to a second back-up server.

For holding your off-site back-up storage there are two primary methods:

1)     Portable Storage – using portable storage is a simple way to make sure your critical data is protected. Portable storage can be a tape, disk or a USB. The amount of data will drive the need to do one or the other method. However, with USB drive sizes growing, this may be one of the better options.

2)     Cloud Storage – using Cloud Storage is becoming an increasingly popular approach. While there is a monthly cost to this approach, Cloud Storage can be purchased from many of the major players at reasonable rates. As well, Cloud Storage can be automated today allowing you to run this as needed and you can run multiple back-ups during the day if needed. The main drawback of this approach is the amount of bandwidth you have available to upload your data.

Every business will experience a ransomware attack at some point and every business can survive it if they have a strong back-up strategy in place, so don’t wait to invest in one.

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