Three New Reports Show The Ransomware Threat is Still Gaining Momentum

Every time a new ransomware survey’s findings are revealed, there is a sense of trepidation. Despite people and enterprises knowing the risk of this malicious software, the mounting number of successful infections remains a cause for concern. Increased IT spending is one way to tackle this problem, but even the best of technologies cannot fix human error.

Ransomware Continues Its March To Success

Two new surveys have been released in the past seven days, both of which revolve around the topic of ransomware. One worrisome trend, noticed immediately, is that nearly half of the respondents have dealt with a ransomware infection over the past twelve months. The vast majority of them, 85% to be precise, has fallen victim not once, but three times or more.

Those numbers may sound familiar to some, as a similar trend was apparent about six months ago. It appears that enterprises and their staffers have not learned any valuable lessons from earlier mistakes when it comes to ransomware. SentinelOne’s survey paints a very troublesome picture, with more and more enterprises losing faith in their existing cyber security solutions.

Unfortunately, they are not the only company forced to draw these unpleasant conclusions. PhishMe reported how Locky ransomware remains very agile and fruitful. The malware has gone through several iterations in recent months, as the developers remain multiple steps ahead of security experts. Locky has been around for quite some time now and remains the most potent malware in the business.

Priorities are shifting in the enterprise world, according to Cato Networks. In fact, 73% of CIOs interviewed have indicated  that their battle plan for 2017 will focus primarily on thwarting ransomware attacks. This is a great idea on paper, but it will require increased spending on IT infrastructure to pull off those efforts.

What makes ransomware so successful is the sheer ease-of-use with which it can be created. Developing malware has become increasingly comfortable. Interested parties can start from scratch and hire someone to do it or purchase an existing solution off the deep web and distribute it. Moreover, they can also become an “affiliate’ for existing ransomware developers, and earn a commission for every successful infection through their own method of distribution.

But software and technology are not the ones to blame in this equation. A malware infection is only successful once a human downloads the malicious software and opens it. Unfortunately, that is a problem technology cannot fix completely, albeit we can develop countermeasures to limit the number of potential attack vectors. Rather than increasing IT spending, training staffers on IT risks seems to be a better course of action to take.

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