Ransomware has emerged as one of the key threats to digital business, according to a report commissioned by Cisco Systems and Dimension Data.
The report cites Cisco’s 2017 Mid-Year Cyber Security Report, which says nearly 50 percent of businesses around the globe experienced at least one cyber attack in 2016, and, of those, 39% were ransomware attacks. In the US alone, the number of attacks rose 300% from 2015 to 2016.
This trend can largely be attributed to the growth of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) attacks in the first half of 2017.
“The escalation in ransomware attacks in the digital economy makes every organization a target,” says Matthew Gyde, Group Executive, Security. “This risk escalated when cryptocurrency and bitcoin became a common avenue for ransom payment. That’s because cybercriminals cannot be traced. And as more employees work remotely on personal devices, the risk is further compounded.”
The report makes a number of recommendations, including proactive research on the dark web for exploits gaining in popularity; the effective use of identity and access management tools; proper network access control; anomaly detection; immediate incident response; and a timely and effective backup policy.
The report underscores the opportunity for security-focused channel partners who can mitigate risks through a combination of technology and social engineering-related prevention. It also reinforces the need for backups that will be instrumental to restoring data, as opposed to paying the ransom.