Ransomware related Cyber Attacks are on rising, says Verizon

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Ransomware related cyber attacks where cyber crooks induce encrypting malware into a network or database and then ask a ransom to decrypt the files are on the rise says a new study made by Verizon. The report says that the attacks increased by 50 percent in 2016 and might double up in next couple of years.

Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) says that cyber espionage has emerged as the most common type of cyber attack for manufacturing, education and public sectors.

And among 2000 breaches analyses, 300 of them proved to be espionage related with 90% of these being attributed to state-affiliated groups.

Due to the proliferation of data related to research, building prototype products, and confidential personal data, hackers are coming up with sophistication in developing the malware. The success rate enjoyed by hackers is also visible as 1 in every 20 phishing attacks is proving extremely profitable to hackers.

Verizon report also confirmed that criminals are not only focusing on elite individuals these days but are also attacking vulnerable organizations and businesses to extort money. The compiled report says that in between 2014-2016 a rise in ransomware attacks was witnessed on government organizations, followed by health care businesses and financial services.

According to the data researched by McAfee which partnered with Verizon to compile the current report, the ransomware attacks have grown in proportion with the market for bitcoins, as cyber criminals use digital currency to conceal the earnings gained through their notorious activities in cyberspace.

Adding more to the success of ransomware are social engineering attacks where criminals obtain personal data in the form of pretexts and use them for extortion.

As organizations are getting the basics wrong in identifying cyber threats in time, they are failing to combat them in an efficient manner. And this is creating the conducive environment for cyber criminals to propagate ransomware.

Hence, in order to keep a check on the rise of ransomware, Verizon advises businesses to adopt the use of two-factor authentication to limit the damage of the stolen credentials. Keep a backup of every data copy which is being generated in a timely and re-usable manner and educate staff against all existing cyber threats prevailing in the cyberspace.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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