Cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2021, the total number of attacks reached 304.7 million. This is significantly higher than the previous year’s total of 304.6 million.
Most of the attacks were caused by ransomware, which accounts for 25% of all incidents. The most common type of attack was professional services, followed by government institutions and manufacturing companies. Because of the rise in attacks, more people and organizations are looking into ransomware protection with companies such as Zscaler to keep their sensitive information safe.
Ransomware – What Is It?
Ransomware is a type of cybercrime that prevents users from accessing files. It demands a ransom payment to unlock the system. Usually, a cybercriminal will give a deadline for the ransom to be paid. If the deadline passes, the victim will be doubled or the files will be permanently locked. These types of attacks are designed to spread rapidly on a network. In 2017, the WannaCry attack caused widespread panic across the world.
How Do Hackers Deploy Ransomware?
There are various ways to get ransomware deployed. Some methods hackers use include sending it via email, installing it on a removable media device, or accessing the social media apps of the target.
There are a variety of ways that ransomware can infect a computer. The most common method is phishing. Unbeknownst to you, the emails contain links or attachments that can infect your PC and you will open it not knowing it has the virus installed.
Top Ways To Protect Your Tech From Ransomware Attacks
1. Maintain Your Operating Systems and Software
Most of the time, hackers exploit security weaknesses in operating systems and applications to launch ransomware. To prevent this, install the latest security patches immediately. A properly patched system can prevent up to 85% of cyber attacks.
2. Install Detection and Prevention Technology
Intrusion detection technologies can provide a detailed analysis of the traffic on your network to identify potential threats. If suspicious behavior is found, this will alert you right away.
3. Backup Your Important Data
The 3-2-1 rule is a best practice that will help minimize the loss of data in the event of a ransomware attack. Your backup should be regularly tested to make sure it is working as expected.
4. Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication
These credentials are often obtained through phishing attacks or by stealing data from breaches. By enabling multi-factor authentication, a hacker would not be able to access the network without the necessary credentials.
5. Offer Awareness Training For Cyber Security
Most cybercrimes use stolen employee credentials to access networks and steal ransom. These credentials are usually obtained from phishing attacks or obtained from breaches. By enabling multi-factor authentication, hackers will not be able to access the network without another authentication factor such as a username and a code.
The chaos caused by the outbreak has created the perfect environment for attackers to thrive, and the Covid-19 themed phishing lures are just one of the ways to get around this. Although many organizations take ransomware seriously, it is often too late to act before it has already infected your systems. This is why the early installation of ransomware protection is vital.