The rise of ransomware

In recent years the price for stolen data has plummeted, falling from $25per record to only $6 per record. This has necessitated new sources of income for cyber attackers, with many of them turning to ransomware as typically, the returns are far higher (often several hundred dollars upwards).

No system is immune to attack and the explosion of IoT devices means that the concept of ransomware will become even more widespread as attackers will be able to hold a number of integral devices to ransom.

While ransomware campaigns are extremely complex with significant infrastructure, the cost for the attacker is low. The significant infrastructure means the attacker can continue to modify the attack; to change this dynamic we have to move beyond the current attack or campaign to identify and block the underlying architecture, therefore cutting criminal activity off at the source.

As this method of cyber attack becomes central to the new criminal business model, next-generation security providers Palo Alto Networks have released a new report on ransomware, providing a 101 of the threat, including it’s history, the present challenges and it’s future.

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Three Key Steps to Protect Against Ransomware

If you receive an alert that an infection has occurred, it is likely already too late. So, the way to stop a potential ransomware infection is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. If you follow these three steps, your organization can avoid having to pay attackers to free your data:

Preparation: Having a solid backup and recovery strategy in place is the key to recovery if the worst were to happen.

Prevention: Segment your network, control access, stop known malware, and quickly detect and prevent unknown malware as it arises.

Response: Understand the latest ransomware families and campaigns. Have a plan in place for engaging law enforcement agencies.

To download the full report, visit Palo Alto Networks’ website

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