Ransomware is quickly becoming one of the most prominent problems of the cyber world. The ease of unleashing ransomware attacks, a growing attack surface thanks to rapid digitization and the anonymity offered by cryptocurrency payments to hackers have together fuelled this plague further.
But are ransomware attacks preventable? And if yes, what are some steps businesses can take for ransomware prevention? We explore this and more in this blog.
What are ransomware attacks?
Ransomware attacks can be caused by various types of malware which enter into the victim systems, encrypting files and data, until a ransom is paid. Ransomware infection can spread through a network quickly, bringing entire businesses to their knees within minutes.
Considering ransomware attacks can restrict access to business data for days or weeks on end, they can lead to serious loss of business and can have very damaging consequences for an organisation or its customers, going beyond just monetary impact.
As we saw recently in the case of the Colonial Pipeline attack, gas supplies in the East Coast of the US became severely impacted for almost a week. In another gut-wrenching example, one hospital in Alabama, was allegedly sued because apparently a baby died at birth since the hospital wasn’t capable of giving it proper care as it grappled with a ransomware attack.
This was the first credible public lawsuit citing a ransomware attack as a cause for death and healthcare negligence.
These examples highlight the far-reaching and severely catastrophic results that ransomware attacks can have on businesses and on individual lives.
The resounding message here? Ransomware prevention is something that businesses and governments need to think about and invest in with utmost urgency.
Ransomware has to be one of the key focus areas of your Incident Response Plan. Further, this plan needs to be rehearsed over and over again, through Ransomware Tabletop Exercises, until it becomes a part of the muscle memory of the decision-makers.