The Most Common Ways Businesses Fall Victim to Ransomware

If there’s one form of cybercrime which seems to get more press coverage than most, its phishing attacks.

They’re cruel, frustratingly common, and capable of causing a great deal of harm to businesses and individuals. But phishing isn’t the only attack you need to be armed against.

One of the most common types of cybercrime is ransomware. In 2019, 48% of UK companies were hit by ransomware attacks. More worryingly, 13% of those attacked actually stumped up and paid the ransom to release the data that had been ‘captured’.

What are the most common ransomware attack techniques?

A recent report by security experts Sophos revealed that the most common ransomware attacks related to file downloads and email links.

Accounting for 29% of all attacks, they were top of this rather unpalatable table:

  1. File download/email links: 29%
  2. Remote attacks on servers: 21%
  3. Email attachments: 16%
  4. Badly configure public clouds: 9%
  5. Remote Desktop connections: 9%

Less common were attacks via USB and those at the hands of suppliers who worked with the businesses in question. But the sheer breadth of ransomware techniques illustrates why your business needs to be well-equipped to protect itself.

How to minimise ransomware risk

Unfortunately, your business will be hit by a ransomware attack. It’ll happen regularly, and while most will thankfully be caught by spam traps and smart employees, the more sophisticated attempts may slip through.

Here are five super-simple recommendations for minimising the risk of falling victim to ransomware.

  1. Realise that you will be hit

It’s going to happen. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll build awareness of this form of cybercrime into everything you do.

Awareness is always the first form of defence.

  1. Implement anti-ransomware technology

Ransomware attacks rely on the ability to encrypt data, leaving only the cybercriminal with the key to unlock it.

If you have anti-ransomware tech in place, it’ll stop the attack at source. Keep reading to find out how we can help in that regard!

  1. Pay attention to where you’re storing data

The Sophos report revealed that almost six in 10 ransomware attacks take place on data that’s held in a public cloud storage service.

This illustrates why you need to protect your data, wherever it is. That means ensuring it’s fully encrypted in the public cloud, your private cloud, or on your premises.

  1. Backup, backup, backup!

If the worst happens and you fall victim to a ransomware attack, your data will be lost forever if you don’t have a recent backup to recall.

The presence of a backup will mean there’ll be no reason to even think about paying that ransom.

  1. Invest in cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is now an essential form of cover for most businesses.

When choosing yours, just make sure it includes cover for ransomware attacks (check that small print!).

Introducing our new anti-ransomware technology

Ransomware gets past traditional cyber defences by using social engineering techniques on employees. They rely on the employee in question failing to identify a fake email (or being unable to distinguish it from a genuine message).

To make matters worse, ransomware attacks which don’t include files only require an employee to visit a website for the infection to take hold. The virus then simply runs in the background on the user’s device, under the radar of most antivirus software.

Compex IT has built anti-ransomware technology to deal with these types of attack. This works by continually monitoring for nefarious encryption activity and sending an alert to our team with critical details about the attack.

We can then shut down the infected workstation automatically to prevent any further damage. It offers huge peace of mind for business owners.

Contact us today to find out more.