Ransomware exploded in 2017, and after a year with as much success as these attacks saw, it is no wonder that 2018 is expected to see more. However, in order to remain successful, ransomware will have to change and improve. In today’s blog, we explore a few predictions as to how this threat will do so.
Why Ransomware Matters
Internet-connected devices are only getting to be more popular, in both the business world and in the personal lives of users. There is a growing reliance on these devices in order to function, to the point that if a device were to be unavailable, many would find themselves in a very tough spot. This is particularly true of business users, as they often rely on the use of such devices in order to operate.
As a result, the threat of denying them access to these devices brings with it some very real consequences - and again, it doesn’t help that so much of our personal and professional lives are so reliant on these devices and the data these devices enable us to access.
Cybercriminals are more than aware of how important this data is to us all. This is precisely why ransomware has been leveraged to relative success, and why its use as an attack vector will continue.
What to Anticipate
Moving forward, we believe that the following trends will become apparent.
Certain Industries Will be Targeted More than Others
There are particular industries that have been favored by ransomware attacks, as they are particularly reliant on their data. The most prominent example of such an industry, and one that will most likely continue to be a target, is the healthcare industry. This makes sense, as this industry has a particularly urgent need of their files, plus there is a lot of sensitive information at play, a fact that cybercriminals are not above exploiting.
Specific Targeting Will Continue
While 2017 saw its share of mammoth ransomware attacks, the technology is much more frequently being used to power more, smaller attacks, than it is fewer, large-scale epidemics. The number of ransomware variants has exploded, some recording a 74 percent increase in a little over a year’s time. These campaigns are then used against prospective victims in the thousands, rather than the millions. 2018 will likely see more of the same.
Ransomware-as-a-Service Will be an Attractive Option
Ransomware-as-a-Service has proven to be very popular as it provides a win-win for the author and the person leveraging it. The person gets a ready-to-go ransomware attack, while the developer is paid for their efforts in developing the ransomware in question. It is likely that this method will continue to be a popular option moving forward.
What You Can Do to Prepare
Fortunately, preparing your business for the continuation of ransomware in 2018 can be as simple as picking up the phone and calling OnSite I.T. at (403) 210-2927. Our experts can help you by applying the right solutions and instilling best practices among your employees. Call today.