What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a tradename for potentially entity killing malware of a variety of classes. In general, the cybercriminals infect computers with malware that can spread and take over an organization’s entire computing environment, from desktops and laptops to servers and critical databases, etc. They may do this initial infection using phishing emails, infected or spoofed websites, free software downloads that contain malware, and even online advertising. Once your systems are infected, the Ransomware can lock you out by encrypting critical data, making it entirely unusable without the decryption keys. Your only way back is to pay or restore from backup, if they have not deleted or encrypted those too.

How it’s Evolving

Ransomware has developed into a sophisticated business model and multibillion dollar industry. Instead of the fairly traditional automated attacks of the past, attackers are getting total control of the systems and customizing the ransom based on their research about your ability and the likelihood that you will pay. These specialized attacks have yielded enormous profits for nation-states and cybercriminals. The attacks are growing more severe with days, weeks or even months of downtime. As many as 1 in 5 organizations will not survive. Downtime, loss of confidence, trust and revenues are additional costs above any ransom paid. The evolution of Ransomware is not expected to slow down any time soon.

 

average ransom paid graph: $6,733 for Q4 2018, $12,762 for Q1 2019, $36,295 for Q2 2019, $41,198 for Q3 2019, $84,116 for Q4 2019average downtime in days graph: 6.2 for Q4 2018, 7.3 for Q1 2019, 9.6 for Q2 2019, 12.1 for Q3 2019, 16.2 for Q4 2019

Ransomware Protection

In this new age of cybercrime, having only antivirus software and firewalls are nowhere near enough. Ensuring your network remains safe demands multiple controls such as: multi-factor authentication, software patching, networks segmentation, limitation of access rights, filtering emails and monitoring DNA. You need 24/7/365 monitoring of your network, daily backups on a disconnected system, and admin credential limitations and tracking. Following these guidelines doesn’t make you immune, which is why it’s absolutely crucial to have developed and tested business continuity and disaster recovery plans and solutions in place.

 

 

Oli Thordarson, CEO – Alvaka Networks

Oli Thordarson, CEOOli has over 30 years of experience running his own companies in the Information Technology industry, and is proud of the success of his entirely self-funded companies. Oli was the founding chairman of Intel backed Global MSP Network in 2001, an international consortium of companies providing network management services. Oli has served on the board of CompTIA—the Global IT trade association promoting industry standards, growing professional expertise, and providing IT skills education—as well as the editorial advisory council for computer industry publications and blogs. Oli has also served on the national board of the American Electronics Association, the association for the high tech industry, and on the advisory board of Discovery Science Center.

Alvaka Networks is noted for its many industry awards, such as Platinum Award for Best Practices in Managed Services at the N-fluence Managed Service Conference, one of the “20 to Watch” by CRN magazine, and the NASBA Top VAR award. Other awards include Gartner Group VAR Vision Business Achievement Award, the Solution Integrator award for best Remote Network Management Solution. Oli has been personally named as one of the computer industry’s Top 20 Visionaries and BTA Award of Excellence.