There is a growing underground of cybercriminals intent on making money off of exploiting your data. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes control of your network, infecting computers and causes damage to your files. This type of software used to only be available to a select few cybercriminals who were able to create it themselves, but now there is a growing black market for all types of malware.
Understanding Black Market Cyber Criminals
In the early days of malware, dating back to the early 1990s, ransomware was still new. Hackers typically targeted organizations or specific people for notoriety within their circles. However, this soon turned into a money making machine where people would encrypt data and sell it back to an organization for a ransom.
These attackers started to recognize the growing potential of ransomware, and a marketplace for those who wish to use this software for their benefit emerged.
Now there are multiple underground companies that offer different levels of service that come with customer care, updates, and more. This has turned these malicious software into a business known as Ransomware as a Service, or Raas.
In the early days you had to at least have basic coding skills to create and operate ransomware. Now, the bar has been significantly lowered.
Many hacker forums, dark web users, and those intertwined with the cybercriminal community are able to purchase ransomware with almost no barrier of entry.
This new trend has seen cybercriminals offering their ransomware operations – from delivery all the way through to taking ransom payments – for hire as a service or via web platforms, typically for a cut of the ransom gains or a fixed fee. (digitalguardian.com)
The ransomware business style is growing at an unprecedented rate. Data has become essential for every person on the planet as we have become more intertwined with technology. This leaves us all vulnerable to attacks and has caused the RaaS scene to thrive.
Criminals are also refining their attacks in ways that can benefit them the most. Healthcare has been the main target lately as healthcare data fetches much more on the black market than financial data alone. We are even seeing new attacks aimed at high level intellectual property, with hackers stealing designs and prototypes.
The number of new ransomware families [has] increased 752%, costing businesses US$1 B globally. (supplywisdom.com)
What Can We Do About It?
RaaS is going to grow as long as we allow it to. We all need to do our parts to stop ransomware attacks before they infect our computers. This can be done by running up to date security software, learning to identify phishing attempts, and keeping our private data encrypted, with safe backups available.
Personal attacks are possible, but those most vulnerable are not typically individuals, but instead organizations.
It only takes one person letting their guard down for a cybercriminal to gain access to an entire organizations crucial data. This is why it is so important that we all work together to stay ahead of attacks that could cause vast harm.
A good way for businesses to get the protection that they need is to work with a reputable managed services company. A good MSP can aid your business by identifying weak points in your security infrastructure, and keep your system up to date as attacks become more advanced.
We all have to do our part to avoid an attack. Working with a managed services company makes it easy.
Ready to up your security? Reach out to our great team to learn more about how we can help.