From the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015 McAfee’s recent threat reports shows that ransomware samples have rocketed by 127% with the number of new ransomware samples having increased by a staggering 58% in comparison to the previous quarter.
Some of the highlighted causes of this are the new ransomware strains such as CTB-Locker and CryptoWall.
There is an increasing market for “malware as a service” making ransomware attacks available to anyone and contains user-friendly consoles to initiate the attacks.
According to the report, there have been some Off-the-shelf toolkits for malware, affiliate programs for ransomware, fill-in-the-blank attack-creation programs, and other familiar business offerings cropping up in the dark web supporting faster, easier and expansive distribution of attacks. Now even those with little skill are able to be cyber-criminals. Placing security in place has no deterred the criminals with the lucrative rewards serving as incentive to adapt attacks to bypass the systems in place.
An essential line of protection towards cybersecurity measures is responsible user practice. This however is difficult to implement countrywide. It is hampered by the limited education on the safe user practice such as avoiding suspicious mail, links and attachments. It also includes the patching and updating of operations systems and applications.
The report by McAfee indicated that one of the major surprises was the constant lack of attention by consumers and businesses, to password security, default configurations, patches, security alerts patches, and updates. These are among many other critical methods of securing physical and cyber assets.
One of the most formidable precautions against ransomware is a great disaster recovery plan. This is one that utilizes cloud backup services such as TDWS cloud drive. The benefits of setting up a great recovery plan are innumerable in value.
Cloud technology has changed the focus of the attacks on devices with the attackers exploiting virtualization to access devices and gain access to location of the important data. The network connected devices in businesses have increased reaffirming the importance of responsible user behavior.
Additionally the growth of mobile malware is an important trend though there was a 17% increase signified in the Q2 samples. The increased use of mobile devices at work by employees should be accompanied by vigilance towards these types of threats.
The use of collaboration services that have increased security such as TDWS Hermes or EMS (Enterprise Mail Solutions) to sync information across the network helps in limiting the exposure to threats of this nature. Additional services would be the use of services that regulate the exposure of devices to external sources that could make them susceptible to this threat.