Given the proliferation of the internet and e-mails as the preferred means of communication, ransomware attacks are on an upward spree. Malware attacks 2017 show that nearly 40% of all e-mail spam contains ransomware. It brings forth the question, what exactly is ransomware?
It is a malware attack that cripples the victim’s files with unbreakable encryption. The cyber attacker then demands money, usually in the form of cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoins) to unlock the data. Hackers can spread ransomware through malicious e-mail attachments, infected external storage devices, infected software apps, and compromised websites. Some attacks also use remote desktop protocol and other approaches which do not rely on any user interaction.
How to proceed further in the wake of a ransomware e-mail? Surprisingly, the FBI states that it is beneficial to pay up rather than try to find and eliminate the threat. However, being vigilant and taking appropriate security measures can go a long way in controlling the risk.
Types Of Ransomware Attacks
There are many ransomware infection methods which hackers use to extort digital currency from their victims. The most common ransomware types are:
- Scareware: These type of ransomware pose as security software or tech support.
- Screen lockers/lockers: These are the types of ransomware attacks which completely lock the user out of their computer.
- Encrypting Ransomware: In this type, the attacker gains access to and encrypts the victim’s data. He then asks for a payment to unlock the files.
- Mobile Ransomware: It consists of malware and ransomware which affects mobile devices.
- Doxware: In these ransomware types, attackers threaten to publish the data online if the victim fails to pay the ransom.
Statistics On Phishing Attacks And Ransomware To Bring You Up to Speed
Security agencies are identifying ransomware infection methods and treating them accordingly. However, they do not seem to end at all. More they detect and eliminate, the more significant number of new types of ransomware attacks resurface. Another hard fact is that no one in the world is immune to ransomware attacks. They can attack enterprise and network systems with absolute impunity. A comparison between e-mail statistics 2016 and 2017 ransomware statistics will provide users with worrying insights. It breaks the bubble of the complacency of the users.
The reputed security software firm, Symantec discovered more than a hundred different types of malware families involved in phishing and other notorious activities in 2017. Compared to the malware statistics 2016, these are nearly three times more. It seems to be never-ending warfare.
In 2017, ransomware attacks were 6000% more than in the previous year. These are figures provided by IBM Security and other security agencies. The question now veers toward the ransomware infection methods. Statistics show that an average person received around 40 to 45 e-mails daily. Multiply this amount by the number of e-mail users in the world. You will end up with an astronomical figure. E-mails provide the perfect cover for cybercriminals to push in their malware in the form of documents, attachments, spreadsheets, faxes, invoices, and so on. How many ransomware attacks took place in 2017? The number of users experiencing ransomware e-mails grew by 11%, which is an alarming increase. It is indeed a challenge to identify the red flags in a phishing e-mail today, given the extent of sophistication used by these criminals.
E-mail stats 2017 show that e-mail is the preferred vector for delivering a whopping 91% of all malware. IBM research indicates that about 59% of all malware threats in 2017 originated with a simple phishing e-mail. Cybercriminals know that individual users are the most vulnerable of all. It is, therefore, easy to target them.
Cyberattacks statistics 2017 shows that the USA takes the first position in this field, as well. Maybe, this is one distinction they could wish away, but figures do not lie. There has been an increase of nearly 36% in the number of e-mail ransomware attacks when compared to malware statistics 2016.
How To Beat Ransomware Attacks?
On a lighter note, we can say that the best way to eliminate the risk is to avoid it. However, it is not easy to do so all the time.
Risk management principles say that the ideal methods are to identify, isolate, and finally eliminate the risk. Hence, one can solve the issue by having a dependable backup vendor to protect in the event of ransomware attacks. Here are five ways of protection against ransomware.
- Protect Yourself – Follow the 3-2-1 rule. The rule states that you maintain three copies of your data, two of them in different types of media, and one copy off-site. Thus, ensuring adequate backup will help you in quick recovery in the event of an attack.
- Secure Your Security Infrastructure – Business networks should proceed with securing their infrastructure to prevent phishing from creating havoc.
- Test Your Security Systems Regularly – Your back up files should be available to you in an emergency. Unless you keep testing them, you can never be sure of the same. Therefore, checking your security system is necessary at regular intervals.
- Be Proactive In Detecting – Usually, people react to situations after the damage is already done. In matters concerning ransomware, one should be proactive. Early detection can help in reducing the amount of loss of data.
- Ensure Quick Recovery – Business networks should be so secure that it should ensure the fastest possible recovery from a ransomware attack.
From the malware statistics mentioned above, we can conclude the following:
- The number of e-mail users are ever-increasing, and so are the attacks.
- Of all the types of cyberattacks, e-mail attack types are the most common.
- With the increase in the volume of phishing attacks in 2017, cyberattacks statistics 2017 shows an increase in their sophistication, as well.
- Ransomware Statistics 2017 presents a grim picture of cybersecurity threats facing individuals and organizations today.
- Unless enterprise networks take proactive steps to fight the menace, it will not be possible to reduce the loss caused to the organizations.