As the title suggests, the first three months of 2022 saw a significant drop in ransomware activity. Falling by around 25%, this has been attributed by those in the cyberworld to the fact that ransomware gangs are less active than they were at the backend of last year. However, although the research is promising, ransomware is still among your business’ most prominent cyber security threats. Below, Neuways goes into detail about why cyber security is such a threat and how you can counteract it:

Who does ransomware affect?

Ransomware affects almost everyone. Alongside phishing attacks, ransomware can cause chaos within your business. For example, hacking into your private software and taking sensitive data from your company.

As our recent articles on phishing have emphasised, cyber criminals have become much more intuitive and cleverer since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. When something happens, and a business is forced to work from home, it is a dream for hackers. However, when a worldwide pandemic happens and businesses remain working remotely, these criminals have really stepped up their game.

Whether it is down to a lack of duty of care when not in the office, or just cyber fatigue, the success rate of phishing campaigns has increased significantly. So, whilst ransomware is more likely to affect those working from home, it can still jeopardise any business wherever they are. Fortunately, as a population, we are either becoming wiser to phishing attacks due to managed security awareness training, or cyber criminals are focusing on something different.

What could be the new approach?

ITPro stated in a recent article on the fall of ransomware attacks that it could be down to simply a different approach. Whilst more prominent companies with more secure networks and, more importantly, more data were seen as the end goal, criminals have realised this was perhaps a little too much. There is a suggestion that hackers are shifting towards smaller businesses. With most larger enterprises opting to return to the office, hackers see small to medium enterprises (SMEs) as a better target.

Whilst what is happening in Ukraine cannot be ignored, there are plenty of other reasons these businesses may be targeted.

Hopefully, your business has never been the subject of a ransomware attack. But if it has, then you know what we are describing and how it can affect your business. Being denied access to your data and files can grind any business to a halt. However, there is a reason why it is so lucrative for cyber criminals. Not only can they blackmail you into paying a handsome fee so you can reclaim control of your business, but they can also sell on or release that confidential data to a high bidder.

Effectively, just because ransomware attacks are down at the start of 2022, you still cannot relax. Managed security awareness training is still as important as ever, as it is likely that these criminals are just looking at other avenues.

What could be a potential solution?

As you can tell from the article, despite the estimated 25% of ransomware attacks, Neuways do want to emphasise that you still need to be alert with your cybersecurity. A software like Secplicity is a website you can check out to view live malware statistics. Keep track of the number of ransomware attacks and hacks around the world. You need to remember that just because you think you are safe from a cyber-attack and that somebody wouldn’t be interested in your data, this is by no means the case. There are always ulterior motives when it comes to these sorts of attacks.

Take a look at the Secplicity statistics provided by WatchGuard Labs. The stats are eye-opening and show you just how widespread these attacks are. The likelihood is you or your business have been the attempted target of a cyber-attack, and you weren’t even aware. That phishing email may have gone straight to your junk. Whilst this is positive, it won’t always happen like that. Make sure you are aware and sensitive to what hackers maybe after. It may not seem like much, but any data that a criminal can get their hands on is a victory for them. If you are not vigilant, you may end up paying the price!

How can Neuways help protect your business from ransomware attacks?

If you are an SME and feel like your IT security needs to be updated, you can always contact Neuways. We offer Cyber Security Rating Report to find out whether your business is likely to need an upgrade.

If you require any cyber security help, please call Neuways on 01283 753 333 or email hello@neuways.com.