Ransomware attacks consist of malicious code that threatens to hijack computer systems unless the owner makes a payment to stop the attack. These are best known in the hospital setting, but have increased dramatically in the last year across multiple industries. And with the success some hackers have experienced in taking systems hostage, you can expect the problem to get bigger in the coming years. Unless your cybersecurity defenses are ready, your company may well be next.
More than Hospitals
The earliest, most high-profile cases of ransomware were reported in hospitals. Many people thus make this association and assume that is where attackers look to strike. This is true in some ways; hospitals need their networks to give patients adequate care, to manage their billing, and for many other reasons. They can’t wait around, and thus may be more likely to pay the ransom demand to release their systems back to them.
Still, hospitals are not the target because of data, or because of willingness to pay. Hackers target them because their cybersecurity can be lax. The key isn’t in what happens after infiltration; it is whether infiltration can occur in the first place. The most targeted industry in 2016 was actually education, followed by government, and then healthcare. What these three have in common is a mixture of old and new systems, and at times, complicated structure. This infrastructure is ripe for invasion, and purveyors of ransomware have taken notice.
The Importance of Being Ready
This is critical information for two reasons. To avoid ransomware problems, you need to make sure you have updated your systems to prevent gaps in your cybersecurity. The more complicated your data and communication network, the more opportunities someone may have to break in and install ransomware. And complex networks make identifying the ransomware harder.
Second, you need a team in place that can monitor regularly, quickly identify improper code in your system, and discard it before it can do damage. Ransomware can often be neutralized when discovered early. The right people in place and ready can make a tremendous difference for you.
With ransomware attacks on the rise, you need a cybersecurity solution in place to stop them before they can take hold and hijack your systems. Learn how Custom IS can help keep you safe from ransomware.