WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
Ransomware is a type of malware and cybercrime that holds data for ransom. Access to data on computer networks, mobile devices, and servers is locked until the victim pays a ransom.
Common ransomware targets include individuals, companies, organizations such as hospitals, governments, and educational institutions. The two main types of ransomware are crypto ransomware and locker ransomware.
Ransomware can take on multiple forms. One of the most common ransomware attack methods is leveraging a phishing scam. A carefully worded email urges the recipient to open an attachment or download a file. This action installs vector ransomware that takes over the computer and can infiltrate the entire computer network, locking everyone out of their computers, the network, and other connected systems.
The goal of ransomware is to convince the victim to pay a ransom to unlock their data. Typically, the criminals behind ransomware attacks will demand payment in cryptocurrency. This is due to its largely untraceable nature. Once the payment is secured, the victim receives an unlock code or decryption file that releases the data on the computer network, mobile device, or servers.
According to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the average monthly suspicious amount of ransomware transactions totaled over $66 million in 2021. That’s roughly $2.2 million per day. More jaw-dropping is the forecast that ransomware-related damage costs alone are expected to exceed $265 billion by 2031. These facts underscore the reality that technological safeguards alone cannot prevent ransomware attacks nor their many ramifications.
Ransomware is a type of social engineering that criminals use to steal data, infect computers, and infiltrate company networks.
What Are the Main Types of Ransomware?
What Are the Ransomware Techniques?
How Does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware works by using a variety of methods, including:
When a downloader infiltrates a computer, it downloads more ransomware malware that further infects the computer or mobile device. Typically this type of ransomware allows cyber criminals to control the computer or device.
Fake criminal advertisements are displayed on real websites and direct the victim to a website hosting an exploit kit.
Phishing or spam email uses social engineering techniques to convince victims to download or open attachments.
The ransomware spreads on the affected system, attacking any computers or devices on a shared network.
Traffic Distribution System
Website traffic is redirected to a website that hosts an exploit kit. The exploit kit exposes computer weaknesses, and the ransomware is installed with drive-by-download malware.
What Are Some Examples of Ransomware?
The simulation template used during the 2021 Gone Phishing Tournament is a prime example of how easy it can be for cyber criminals to trick unsuspecting individuals into downloading and/or installing a ransomware file.
Who Is A Ransomware Target?
Any person, business, organization, or government is a target for ransomware. Cyber criminals are looking for anyone willing to pay a ransom to regain access to their data, computer networks, servers, or mobile devices.
Cyber criminals do not care who they attack with their ransomware. Because of this, it’s critically important that your employees and organization are cyber secure.
The ease of use of ransomware for cyber criminals highlights why it is vital that everyone in your organization is aware of the threats and risks of ransomware.
Ransomware simulation allows you to identify which employees are prone to ransomware and educate your team on how easy it is for social engineering attacks to happen.
How to Prevent Ransomware
1. Invest in your people. Put an emphasis and focus on phishing and security awareness to reduce human risk. Take advantage of free ransomware simulation tools to educate and identify ransomware risks.
2. Give your employees the necessary tools and knowledge they need to recognize ransomware risks. Educate your team on how and when to open unexpected attachments or those from unfamiliar sources.
3. Create internal cyber security heroes committed to keeping your organization cyber secure. This process helps motivate your employees to change their behavior.
4. Use proven security awareness training and ransomware simulation training platforms to provide engaging and effective security awareness education.
5. Foster and create environmental support for behavior change. Create a work environment that inspires learning and encourages a security-conscious culture.
6. Take advantage of automated and simple-to-use training to keep learning engaging, informative, and manageable. Read The Human Fix to Human Risk to learn step-by-step guidelines on developing an effective security awareness program that enhances security behaviors.
7. Provide ongoing communication and campaigns about cyber security, ransomware, and the risks that can come in the format of URLs, emails, and attachments.
8. Use a flexible delivery model that includes animated videos, interactive online training, managed security services, microlearning modules and phishing simulations to provide ongoing support.
9. Benefit from a free CISO coaching session to learn how to improve existing ransomware awareness or create a new security awareness program.
10. Watch our ransomware webcast to learn how easy it is for anyone to become a victim of ransomware and how you can protect your organization.
What is a Ransomware Simulation?
A ransomware simulation is the best way to raise awareness of ransomware risks. It can also help identify which employees are most at risk for ransomware attacks.
Ransomware simulation makes it easy to incorporate cyber security awareness into your organization in an engaging and informative format.
Real-time simulations educate end users and increase organization-wide understanding of ransomware attacks. People see first-hand how easy it is to be tricked into installing ransomware malware on their computers and mobile devices.
What are the Top 10 Benefits of a Ransomware Simulation?
1. Move from beware to be aware of cyber security risks
2. Measure levels of corporate and employee vulnerability
3. Eliminate the cyber threat risk level
4. Increase user awareness of ransomware and social engineering risks
5. Create cyber security heroes and instill a cyber security culture
6. Change behavior to eliminate the automatic trust response cyber criminals rely on
7. Deploy targeted anti-ransomware and anti-phishing solutions
8. Protect valuable corporate and personal data
9. Assess the impacts of cyber security awareness training
10. Meet industry compliance obligations
To learn more about ransomware and how you can keep your organization cyber secure, take advantage of our free security awareness training resources:
Contact us at 1-866-889-5806 or at [email protected] to learn more about protecting your organization from ransomware.
Terranova Security is committed to delivering people-centric training that makes your organization cyber security aware.