The 2020s Are the Golden Era for Target Ransomware: Be Careful
Updated: Aug 11
Targeted ransomware is becoming a significant cybersecurity risk for businesses everywhere; this isn't going away anytime soon. No matter how big the cyber campaign is, it's always about the money. Cybercriminals always follow the money.
The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISNA) publicly released its ENISNA Threat Landscape (ETL) report, which combs over all cybercriminal activity for the entire year (in this case, from April 2020 to July 2021). This report predicts there will be massive surges within the cybercriminal world when it comes to targeted ransomware:
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In the coming years, targeted ransomware attacks will increase by 150%, reports the ETL, which businesses keep an eye on in all industries. We're in the "golden era of ransomware," the perfect storm for these ransomware attacks to explode in escalation.
Typically, a favorite tactic for cybercriminals is to try and discreetly compromise a company's secure network by using phishing scams. A firm's cloud computing services are then exposed and completely vulnerable; without knowing it, their system has file-encrypted malware.
The possibility of quickly making millions of dollars could be the beginning of a much bigger problem. Here, the cybercriminals ask for a ransom payable in crypto tokens to regain access to the company's network. Once this ransomware takes hold of the system, the company will have no access to its network. As more criminals successfully get these ransoms, other criminals everywhere will take keen notice.
ENISNA states that cybercriminals are increasingly entering this line of work solely for easy money. As more criminals enter, these attacks will continue, and businesses worldwide will continue to find their operations and assets under siege.
One such example, the Darkside ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, illustrated how truly disruptive these attacks could be, even going as far as affecting the personal lives of those outside the company. This cyberattack resulted in severe gas shortages in the North-Eastern corner of the United States, and the company ended up paying $5 million to its attackers.
As much attention as these cyber attacks get, many more are swept under the rug by the victimized company. The majority of these incidents the public hears about are just the tip of a much more giant iceberg.
But some good news: more arrests continue materializing as more governments step up their game and tackle this growing epidemic. They show that these ransomware activities have severe consequences for these profitable crimes.
As time goes on, cybersecurity experts are developing better tools and strategies to fight these attacks, ensuring companies can be proactive rather than reactive to cyberattacks on their network. The fight against cybercrime is heard loud and clear by many everywhere in the industry.
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