Ransomware primer: you need to know these 5 things

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Ransomware primer: you need to know these 5 things

Ransomware attacks in 2021 are on the increase thanks to the large rewards for criminals. 

Colonial Pipeline Co. reportedly paid between $4 and $5 million to hackers to urge its pipeline copy and running. And there’s a growing number of cases of outsized payments.

Here are five things everyone should realize ransomware – the worst of the worst malware – in 2021:

Ransomware attacks are on the increase. There has been a 57% increase in organizations suffering from ransomware within the last six months and a 9% monthly increase since the start of the year, consistent with Check Point Research. And the U.S. sees the foremost ransomware attacks of any single country, with 12% of all attack attempts globally, consistent with Check Point.

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The size of the payments is ballooning. the typical cost of ransomware nearly tripled to $312,493 in 2020, consistent with Palo Alto Networks. In addition, both the “highest amount paid” and “highest amount demanded” doubled to $10 million and $30 million, respectively, the cybersecurity firm said in its 2021 Unit 42 Ransomware Threat Report.

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Double extortion is now common. That is the criminal practice of first encrypting data so victims can’t access computer systems and, second, threatening to leak the info to coerce victims into paying a ransom. Sometimes the info leak may be a separate ransom. Therefore the victim is being extorted for two payments. And triple extortion is on the menu now: encrypting and leaking data plus using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to pack up victim websites, consistent with Palo Alto Networks.

There are ways to limit your exposure. the simplest thanks to avoiding ransomware are to possess a carefully crafted data backup strategy, consistent with Tim Erlin, vice chairman of product management and strategy at cybersecurity firm Tripwire. 

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“A good thought exercise to ascertain how prepared you’re is to imagine what would happen if you physically lost your device,” Erlin told Fox News. “How would you begin over? How would you get your data back?” In other words, keep your data backup physically separate (i.e., disconnected and offline), so criminals haven’t any way of accessing your backup too.

Remember, ransomware must find how into your system first: use secure, multi-factor authentication whenever possible. Use strong passwords that aren’t repeated across different accounts, keep the software on your devices up-to-date, and avoid clicking on links in emails, Erlin said.

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