Ransomware on the Rise & Evolving

Incidence of ransomware, a form of digital extortion perpetrated by cyber criminals, has been rising since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, coinciding with the expansion of remote work. Per reviews by evaluators such as Comparitech and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 200 million ransomware incidents occurred during 2020, as the rate of attacks increased by 300%.

In simple terms, ransomware is malicious code delivered to a computer via social engineering techniques, such as phishing, spam and adware. Once ransomware infects a system, the program encrypts important data, locking files until the owner pays for the information’s release.

Researchers continue tallying this year’s stats, but trends already show the pace is increasing along with the price of ransoms – a $220,298 average during Q1-2021, per a Wall Street Journal report. About 75% of U.S. ransomware victims during that period were small businesses, who paid more than $350 million in ransoms.

Ransomware methods have evolved, too, beyond holding data hostage to taking whole businesses captive. Earlier this year, a successful incursion compelled the Colonial Pipeline Co., the largest pipeline operator on the U.S. East Coast, to temporarily halt operations.

How can you lower ransomware risk for your business?

  1. Scan networks frequently for vulnerabilities, as cyber crooks rely on these weaknesses to deliver malware.
  2. Update and patch these system security flaws regularly.
  3. Report attacks to authorities such as the FBI and U.S. Secret Service.

In short, constant vigilance. Want some help? Give us a call at TeamLogicIT Plano (469) 573-3743 or contact through our webpage at teamlogicitplanotx.com.

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