What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malware designed to deny a user or organization access to files on their computer. By encrypting these files and demanding a ransom payment for the decryption key, cyberattackers place organizations in a position where paying the ransom may be the easiest way to regain access to their files.
 

Ransomware may also threaten to publish personal data or permanently block access to it unless a ransom is paid. 

This malware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading which occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.

Main consequences of a Ransomware Attack

High Costs

According to Forbes, In 2019, average remediation costs for a company that had incurred a ransomware attack were over $761,000. In 2020, the figure had more than doubled to $1.85 million. In just the United States, ransomware victims spent an average of $2.09 million on remediation costs.

Low Chances of Data Recovery​

Paying a ransom does not guarantee that all data will be recovered. Forbes reported that n average, only 65% of data is restored. 

Brand Reputation Damage​

Ransomware attacks can be costly not only financially but also in corporate productivity and data breaches to customers. Releasing sensitive and personal data can be devastating to a company’s reputation. 

Examples of Ransomware Attacks Using Phishing

Phishing emails have been among the top entry points for attackers to attract victims. Phishing was the dominant attack vector for Ransomware in Q4 2020, overtaking remote desktop protocol (RDP) compromises. Here are examples of successful Ransomware attacks that started as phishing emails campaigns:

Educate  your users about Ransomware attacks and take your cyber awareness strategy to the next level!