What to Expect of Ransomware this Year

March 29, 2018

Ransomware exploded in 2017, and after a year with so much success, it is no wonder that 2018 is expected to see more. However, to remain a fruitful threat, 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 to function, to the point that if a device were to be unavailable, many would find themselves without essential services. This is particularly true of business users, as they often rely on the use of these devices to operate. As a result, the threat of denying access to these devices brings with it some very real consequences.
Cybercriminals are aware of how important this data is to us all. This is precisely why ransomware has been leveraged to a huge 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 specific industries that have been favored by ransomware attacks, as they are particularly reliant on their data. The most prominent examples of industries that will most likely continue to be a target are the financial and healthcare industries. This is logical, as these services have a particularly urgent need of their data, plus there is 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 against small to medium businesses than large-scale attacks of huge corporations. The number of ransomware variants has exploded, some recording a 74 percent increase in a little over a year. These campaigns are 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 CalTech at 877-223-6401. Our CyberDefense program is a carefully researched and fully curated suite of systems designed to improve the IT security standing of your organization.

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