Unfortunately, 2023 was a big year for ransomware groups. Law enforcement groups started to crack down on attackers, but most these groups are too sophisticated to truly be stopped. We saw a few ransomware groups shut down, only to reemerge with some allies, forming an even bigger threat.

Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, a threat intelligence firm, reported a 49 percent bump in victims reported by ransomware leak sites, totaling 4,000 posts to those sites from different ransomware groups. They contribute the uptick to the massive impact of attacks that exploited zero-day vulnerabilities, which are unknown security flaws. Which is scary stuff.

Here are a few key reasons ransomware attacks are on the uptick:

  1. Increase in Remote Work: As more workers remain home, the opportunities for bad actors to exploit vulnerabilities in personal networks and devices increases. Remote work often means less secure networks and systems, making it easier for ransomware to infiltrate.
  2. Sophistication of Attacks: Cybercriminals are getting craftier, as their techniques get discovered, they turn to more advanced techniques to bypass security measures. They are also using social engineering tactics to trick users into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected files.
  3. Cryptocurrency Anonymity: The last couple of years has seen the rise of digital currencies like Bitcoin. Cybercriminals have begun demanding that as payment since they are hard to trace, making it a popular choice for those on the wrong side of the law.
  4. Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness: Ignorance creates a huge security threat. Lack of awareness and knowledge on the latest cyberthreats and best practices is a goldmine for ransomware attackers.
  5. High Returns for Attackers: Ransomware is a lucrative market. Companies often find it easier to pay the ransom to get their files back rather than deal with the fallout of a prolonged outage.
  6. Increased Digitization: The more business data that resides online, especially E-Commerce, the bigger target your business becomes for cyberattacks.

The best way to protect against ransomware attacks and other outside threats, is to keep your systems up-to-date, backup your data regularly, be vigilant of any suspicious activities, and educate yourself and your coworkers on the latest cybersecurity practices. If you need help ensuring all those steps are met within your organization, let the team at 2W Tech help! Our team of expert IT Consultants help you evaluate your security solutions stack, best practices, and ensure you are best protected from outside threats.

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