The Rise of Ransomware

  • By
  • December 28, 2023
  • Cyber Security
The Rise of Ransomware

The Rise of Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or data until a sum of money, or ransom, is paid. It works by encrypting files on the victim’s device or by locking the entire system, making it inaccessible to the user. Once the ransomware has taken hold, it typically displays a message demanding payment in cryptocurrency, often Bitcoin or another untraceable currency, in exchange for a decryption key or to restore access to the system. The Rise of Ransomware can infiltrate a system through various means, such as phishing emails, malicious software downloads, or exploiting vulnerabilities in software or operating systems. It has been a significant threat to individuals, businesses, and even government entities, causing data loss, financial damage, and disruption of operations.


How Ransomware is Affecting Businesses?

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise globally and are causing extreme panic and insecurity to citizens. According to some reports, ransomware incidents increased by over 150% in 2023 compared to 2019. Industries such as healthcare, education, government, and small to medium-sized businesses were among the most targeted. These sectors often have sensitive data and may have weaker cybersecurity measures compared to larger corporations. The average ransom demand has also surged and has exceeded millions of dollars in some extreme cases. Some notorious ransomware strains of the current time include Ryuk, Sodinokibi (REvil), Maze, and Conti, among others. Ransomware penetration has often caused significant operational disruption, financial losses, reputational damage, and in some cases, led to the shutdown of businesses. 


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Factors Affecting Rise in Ransomware:

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise across the globe due to various interconnected factors:

  • Financial Incentives: Ransomware is profitable for cybercriminals. The use of cryptocurrency for ransom payments provides anonymity, making it difficult to trace the money. The potential for significant financial gain motivates hackers to continue launching such attacks.
  • Sophistication and Accessibility of Tools: The proliferation of sophisticated hacking tools and ransomware kits available on the dark web has lowered the barrier to entry for cybercriminals. These kits are user-friendly, enabling individuals with limited technical expertise to execute attacks, leading to a surge in the number of attackers.
  • Evolving Attack Methods: Cybercriminals constantly evolve their attack methods, employing tactics like phishing emails, social engineering, exploit kits, and leveraging software vulnerabilities. They exploit weaknesses in systems, applications, and human behavior to gain access to networks and deploy ransomware.
  • Targeting Vulnerable Systems: Many organizations and individuals have outdated software, unpatched systems, or insufficient cybersecurity measures in place, making them vulnerable targets. Cybercriminals capitalize on these weaknesses to launch attacks and demand ransom.
  • Increased Connectivity and Remote Work: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote work, leading to increased connectivity and reliance on digital infrastructure. This transition created more entry points for cybercriminals to exploit, as remote setups may have weaker security measures compared to centralized office networks.
  • Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness: Despite increased awareness, many individuals and organizations still lack sufficient cybersecurity knowledge. This knowledge gap leads to behaviors that make them more susceptible to falling victim to ransomware attacks, such as clicking on suspicious links or downloading malicious files.
  • Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS): Some cybercriminals operate on a model known as Ransomware-as-a-Service, where they sell or rent ransomware to other hackers, allowing more individuals to partake in these attacks. This distribution model has contributed to the widespread use of ransomware.
  • Difficulty in Attribution and Prosecution: The anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies, combined with the use of proxies and other tools to obfuscate identities, makes it challenging for law enforcement agencies to trace and prosecute cybercriminals involved in ransomware attacks. This perceived low risk of being caught encourages more attacks.


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Steps to Prevent Ransomware Attacks in a Corporate Environment:

Tackling rising ransomware attacks requires a multifaceted approach that involves proactive cybersecurity measures, preparedness, and a combination of technological, procedural, and educational strategies. To counter the rising threat of ransomware, efforts need to focus on a combination of robust cybersecurity practices, regular software updates, and patching, user education and training, implementing multi-layered security measures, and global collaboration among governments, law enforcement agencies, and the cybersecurity industry to deter cyber criminals and mitigate the impact of such attacks.


  1. Maintain secure and regular backups of critical data. Backups should be stored offline or in a separate, secure environment to prevent them from being affected by ransomware attacks.
  2. Keep all software, operating systems, and applications up to date with the latest security patches. Vulnerabilities in outdated software can be exploited by cybercriminals to infiltrate systems.
  3. Use robust security solutions such as firewalls, antivirus software, anti-malware programs, and intrusion detection systems to protect against ransomware and other cyber threats.
  4. Human error is a common entry point for ransomware attacks, therefore, conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training for employees. 
  5. Limit user access privileges to only what is necessary for their roles. Segment networks to limit the impact of a ransomware attack. 
  6. Develop and regularly test an incident response plan that outlines steps to take in the event of a ransomware attack. This plan should include procedures for isolating affected systems, communicating with stakeholders, and restoring data from backups.
  7. Encrypt sensitive data both in transit and at rest and add an extra layer of data protection. This helps in making it harder for attackers to access and exploit the information
  8. Conduct periodic security audits and risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and weak points in the infrastructure..


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Get a Formal Training at Your Organization to Tackle With Any Ransomware Attack:

As discussed earlier, our digitally connected world has a significant threat from ransomware attacks. SevenMentor Institute is proud to present a comprehensive Ransomware Prevention Training Program designed to empower individuals and organizations with the knowledge and skills to prevent, detect, and respond effectively to ransomware threats. 


Give your employees a comprehensive understanding of ransomware threats and preventive measures through this corporate-level training. You can now inculcate practical skills that can help you respond effectively to ransomware incidents. Get ready to strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity posture and resilience against attacks. We also provide excellent Certification from SevenMentor Institute upon finishing the Ransomware Prevention Course.

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In conclusion, ransomware prevention training is an indispensable investment in safeguarding individuals and organizations against the growing threat of malicious cyberattacks. Equipping oneself with the knowledge, skills, and proactive strategies presented in such training not only fortifies defenses but also instills a culture of cybersecurity vigilance. By understanding the intricacies of ransomware, implementing robust preventive measures, devising effective incident response plans, and staying abreast of evolving cyber threats, participants of ransomware defense training emerge empowered to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and resilience.

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