Every day, clients come to us with questions about ransomware and how to best prepare their organizations against potential attacks. This is perhaps one of the most vexing challenges in cybersecurity as ransomware attack methods, motivation, and barriers to entry are constantly evolving. We’ve collated three key questions that concisely explain ransomware:

  • How do these attackers target my organization? Ransomware attacks are a business unto themselves and if an organization displays a lack of defenses, it is likely to become a victim. Organizations that do not adapt and change run the risk of fostering attacker innovation.
  • Why have these attacks grown? It’s a vicious cycle. Attacks are funded by victims, enabling attackers to innovate and develop the next generation of attack method and technology, targeting the complex and difficult security elements that are not quickly or easily fixed. The cycle will continue as long as the attacker sees an opportunity to profit.
  • What happens to my organization when an attack occurs? Files with critical business information and systems become unavailable. Sensitive data is exposed, regulators demand answers. Legal disputes can go on for years. Paying a ransom does not mitigate the damage and may encourage a return.

Anticipate, respond, recover

An active defense – including assessment exercises, threat hunting, and tabletop exercises – can improve any organization’s ability to quickly react to evolving threats. Ransomware attacks require companies to focus on anticipating the attack, responding when it happens, and recovering and updating business controls to help prevent future events.

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