Ransomware is a problem on the rise, a simple threat with some very large business implications. Statistics show it has reached new levels of menace, and it’s growing at a remarkable rate: 6000% in 2016, an IBM study found, and a triple-digit increase into 2018.

Although a very real and present danger (as shown by some very high profile infections in 2017), the real question is how this threat is going to grow next year and beyond.

Why is Ransomware Such a Problem?

Ransomware fear is well-founded on a handful of core components:

  1. Ease of infection and distribution: Ransomware is a growing threat not only on laptops but also on mobile devices, which saw a 250% increase in infections, as well as smart devices. It has never been easier for criminals to distribute ransomware to so many devices, a trend that is set to continue and which will facilitate more attacks. The emergence of RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) platforms, combined with cheap outsourcing to hackers, means cybercriminals no longer need any technical skills to attack businesses all over the world.
  2. Everyone and every business is a mark: If you are connected to the internet, you are at risk, and any business or person is susceptible. What would an advertising agency pay to get their images back post infection? An accounting firm to get back their spreadsheets? Or a hosting firm to release their server? (Pay out over 1 million dollars, apparently?) No matter your business operation or service, you are a target. Ransomware can be deployed cheaply at scale through email, which is still its most common infection method.
  3. Our digital lifestyle is changing at a ferocious pace; greater connectivity directly relates to greater opportunity for would-be hackers: Bring Your Own Device (Read more...)