There were over 236.7 million ransomware attacks worldwide within the first half of 2022.
In fact, the number of ransomware complaints in the US increased by 82%, with an approximately 450% spike in the number of ransom payments between 2019 and 2021. These stats are alarming for both small and large businesses.
The impact of such cybersecurity breaches has created a fear of economic loss among SMEs & big firms. Luckily, most ransomware attacks do not result in losses. However, it is still high time to learn how to avoid ransomware for good.
In this article, we will discuss ransomware and how businesses can prepare against it.
Here we go!
Table of Contents:
The concept of Ransomware as a Service resembles a typical SaaS (Software as a Service). RaaS operators do manage and distribute their services to RaaS users who are called RaaS affiliates.
Any ransomware attack limits computer access by either locking the screen or encrypting user files. One cannot access it without paying a ransom amount through bitcoins to the address displayed on the message window. Upon payment, the users get a decryption key.
Whether you are a fintech company, healthcare group or governmental entity, you can leverage the best practices to secure your web apps and other software integrated into the database.
How does ransomware as a service work?
Ransomware as a Service is offered by RaaS operators who distribute ‘how to create a ransomware package’ to cyber criminals or RaaS affiliates.
Once RaaS affiliates gain access to ransomware software from their respective RaaS operators, they start targeting victims. They set ransom demands at first and then compromise victims’ digital assets to further demand ransom payments.
RaaS is often advertised across public forums or the dark web. It enables non-tech affiliates to make their own ransomware in lesser time & effort.
Ransomware recovery is set to incur an estimated expense of $268 billion (USD) per year by the end of 2031.
Any software product or system comprising sensitive data is vulnerable to data breaches. It can result in a massive loss to the company and stakeholders.
Small businesses observed a 40% increase in ransomware attacks. Also, around 51% of monetary loss at SMEs occurs in ransomware recovery. The average value of ransom paid by mid-level organizations is $174,404.
It’s critical to use a ‘how to avoid ransomware attack’ strategy to secure valuable databases from the eyes of cybercriminals. Be it a startup or a big business.
And hence, ransomware prevention has become a priority for all new entrants, SMEs, and established firms.
We at BluEnt make extra efforts to secure our iOS and Android mobile app development practices with every we project work on.
Now let’s grab more convincing stats to understand why every business needs a how to avoid ransomware strategy.
Industry-wise stats of ransomware attacks in the real world
70% of healthcare organizations report delays in medical procedures due to ransomware attacks.
36% of hospitals recorded a steep rise in medical complications due to ransomware interruptions.
74% of ransomware attacks took place in hospitals while 26% happened in medical facilities such as dental clinics and nursing homes.
8% of healthcare data breach reports were ransomware attacks.
The biggest ransomware attack in 2022 occurred when a Chicago-based hospital i.e., CommonSpirit Health reported IT outages happened. It compromised data of 623,000 patients.
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In Fintech & Insurance
Ransomware attacks triggered major losses and insurance claims by 4%.
Ransomware as a Service attacked more than 73% of businesses at least once in the last two years, as per a recent report.
The finance sector was one of the most-affected industries with 78% of ransomware cases in 2021.
52% of financial institutions pay for ransomware recovery, which is higher than the global average of 46%.
In Education or Edtech
There was a record rise of 56% in lower education & 64% in higher education for ransomware attacks in 2021.
The highest cases of data encryption attempts were made among higher education facilitators at an average rate of 74%.
The government of Costa Rica revealed that a ransomware attack on April 2022 was done by Conti. It is a ransomware group that demanded a sum of $20 million as a ransom.
45% of government organizations paid ransom to re-access encrypted data.
58% of state & local governments faced ransomware in 2021, a high of 34% in 2020.
Worried? You do not need to be.
However, you need to take some steps for ransomware prevention. Whether you are a business owner, stakeholder, administrator, or database engineer, you need to be serious about the impacts of a ransomware attack.
Nvidia, a leading semiconductor company, faced a significant ransomware attack in February 2022. A hacking group named Lapsus$ leaked employee credentials and other secret information online. Hackers warned that they would leak company data of 1TB value and demanded a ransom of $1 million along with a percentage of an unspecified fee.
If you don’t want to fall prey to such cyberattacks, it is imperative to take some strict measures to avoid ransomware. Here is what a business must do:
Keeping data encrypted before ransomware happens
Data encryption before a ransomware attack is an effective attempt to avoid cyber breaches. Upon data encryption, hackers will not be able to decrypt it using any ransomware. And as a result, they will not be able to demand any ransom for ransomware recovery.
Adding several layers of security
Weak credentials and phishing attacks are the primary causes of data breaches. The best defensive system to protect from ransomware is email filtering.
It also needs endpoint protection and multi-step user password authentication. Keeping offline backups of valuable data and system builds can also limit the consequences of ransomware attacks.
Investing in secure & end-to-end software development services
Using outdated software? It is vulnerable to data breaches as cybercriminals are smarter than years ago.
Hiring expert software developers is highly recommended to ensure the safety of your software. They will apply the best techniques to code secure websites & mobile apps.
While at present there are no solutions to battle ransomware infection other than to pay the amount, you can still follow a few precautionary steps. Do not click on suspicious links and keep your anti-virus programs updated.
Also, make sure that your technology partner is creating secure applications for your business needs.
We at BluEnt keep security as an utmost priority for custom app development, mobile app development, and web app development. Our strategic approach & tech-driven methodologies deliver highly secure and custom software development services.
Want to get secure apps for your business? Get in touch today to get started. We have served more than 1100 projects, focused on healthcare, finance or fintech, social media, retail, government, education, energy, & other emerging industries.
Our bespoke specialization involves mobile app development, web app development, UI/UX design, product development, and software development services.
Let’s make your digital products 100% secure and protected from malware attacks.
1. How do hackers create ransomware these days?
Anyone can create ransomware today! All you need for this is an Android phone to get started. No coding skills, no hacking skills, and not even a laptop.
Creating Ransomware from the free Trojan Development Kit (TDK)
Hackers can easily download free TDK from various hacking forums. The interface offers a user-friendly interface so that anyone can create custom ransomware. One can build the whole malicious software on your smartphone itself, without writing even one line of code.
With the app, all one only needs to do is follow simple instructions. Fill out a form that has customization options and pay a one-time fee to the app developer. The customization options include choosing the kind of message you want to display on the infected device's lock screen.
Once done, anyone can distribute the ransomware software across several devices.
Note: This content is meant for information purposes, we do not promote using RaaS or any related services from any perspective.
Creating Custom Ransomware from Atom Ransomware
Formerly called Shark, Atom Ransomware allows you to download software from their site. They also offer stepwise instructions on how to set it up and use it.
Any wannabe ransomware creators can visit their site and click on the download button. It will download zip files to use the ransomware configuration builder, a warning note, and an executable file.
Upon downloading the Atom payload builder, one can start customizing the details immediately. Specify the bitcoin address you need to send to your victim, the price, and the message to display. You can also choose the directories which you need to infect, the files to lock, and the countries you need to infiltrate into.
The developers at Atom claim that their ransomware will be undetectable by AV software. It uses fast and strong encryption algorithms and supports different languages.
You can choose which folders and files to infect & the countries to target. One can also decide how much ransom to demand in each country and the email address which will send notifications.
The site is quite professional looking. The Shark Ransomware Project offers several examples of configuring the software.
Tox: The Ransomware Construction Kit
This one is available on Dark Web since May 2017. You can use this tool to create ransomware for Windows operating systems including all mobile devices which use the platform.
2. What businesses are the clear targets of ransomware attacks?
Manufacturing & healthcare are major targets of RaaS operators.
Phishing attacks are the first indications of ransomware risks. More than 47% of ransomware attacks occur due to this reason and US organizations are most vulnerable to being affected.