Ransomware in 2023: The Good & The Bad

April 3rd, 2023 | Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity

Ransomware has been on everyone’s mind since a string of high-profile ransomware attacks in 2021. For the uninitiated, ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files or IT systems and demands payment, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware has been a significant threat to businesses and organizations for years, but it has evolved over time. Let’s take a look at how ransomware used to be: 

Ransomware in the Past 

Ransomware attacks used to be indiscriminate. Cybercriminals would send out mass emails containing the malware in the hope that some recipients would click on the attachment or link. However, as organizations have become more aware of ransomware threats and implemented stronger cybersecurity measures, cybercriminals have shifted their tactics. They now carry out targeted attacks against specific organizations, using social engineering techniques and sophisticated malware to gain access to their systems. 

Ransomware in 2023 – The Good 

Companies are wising up and are becoming less likely to pay the ransom. 

Source: Coveware 

Why are ransom payments going down? Immutable backups. Businesses caught on that proper backup & recovery planning is the greatest defense against ransomware. It’s key that your backups are immutable (I.e., cannot be altered), or better yet, stored on an entirely separate network. If your backup is stored on the same network as everything else, when you get compromised then so are your backups – rendering them useless. 

Ransomware in 2023 – The Bad 

Ransom demands are going up 

Since companies are paying less, cyber criminals are demanding more from the businesses that they successfully compromise. Instead of extortion, we’re starting to see a rise in double and triple extortion. 

Double extortion involves not only encrypting the data but also stealing sensitive information and threatening to publish it online unless the ransom is paid. Triple extortion takes it a step further, with cybercriminals threatening to publish your clients and partners data online and send them a link to it, unless you pay them. That is not how you want your business associates to find out you have security issues. 

Ransomware continues to be a significant threat to businesses and organizations, but it is constantly evolving. As organizations become better prepared for attacks, cybercriminals are shifting their tactics and carrying out more targeted attacks. However, the decrease in ransomware payments and the increased collaboration between law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity firms offer hope for the future. It is essential for organizations to be proactive in their cybersecurity measures and stay up to date with the latest ransomware threats to protect themselves from these evolving threats. 

Watch the full webinar 2023 State of Cybersecurity | You Will Be Breached to gain a full understanding of today’s cyber threat landscape, how to manage your risk, and 4 steps you must take to protect your business.