We’ve written and talked extensively about the rising number of ransomware attacks. If you’ve missed any of that coverage, our multi-part ransomware blog series is a good primer. In lieu of a deep dive, let’s look at some quick facts:
- Attacks are expected to double in 2017i
- Ransomware can attack any type of computerii
- 70% of small businesses paid the ransomiii
- 20% of businesses paid more than $40,000iii
- Most businesses face 2 days of downtimeiv
The cyber incident dominating the news for the past month is the WannaCry attack. Currently, WannaCry is the largest ransomware attack in history. WannaCry infected over 300,000 computers in more than 150 countries on May 12th. The attack locked down the United Kingdom’s National Health Service plus thousands of other major institutions across the globe. What are the origins of WannaCry? The cyber hackers lifted this program from the United States’ National Security Agency which called this vulnerability “Eternalblue.” Since the initial outbreak, the program has been evolving and new strains of attacks are popping up. Just last week copycats were attempting to continue to spread the ransomware further, just for fun. Most new variants are being successfully stopped, for now.
How is your anti-virus helping you avoid this?
The WannaCry outbreak forced many organizations to review their security standards. Anti-virus, is generally among the first security components to be scrutinized. If your anti-virus solution is using a signature-based method, file reputation scanning, and a heuristic-based engine scanning, that’s a good start. But how do you account for new or not-yet-identified threats?
If your anti-virus solution does all of the above and sandboxes anything that is not in the signature database, that’s a better start. Most anti-virus solutions rely on a signature database to determine the safety of a given file or program – sandboxing can help prevent 0-Day attacks. In other words, a sandboxing unrecognized signatures can protect an organization from being among the first victims of a ransomware campaign.
If you are interested in learning more about selecting the right anti-virus solution or interested in learning more about our Security Services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary consultation.
i SC Media, Ransomware attacks will double in 2017, study, https://www.scmagazine.com/ransomware-attacks-will-double-in-2017-study/article/634560/ (Jan. 30, 2017).
ii Wikipedia, Ransomware, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware.
iii CNBC, Ransomware spiked 6,000% in 2016 and most victims paid the hackers, IBM finds, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/13/ransomware-spiked-6000-in-2016-and-most-victims-paid-the-hackers-ibm-finds.html (Dec. 14, 2016).
iv The Atlantic, How Ransomware Became a Billion-Dollar Nightmare for Businesses, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/09/ransomware-us/498602/ , (Sep. 3, 2016).