Every week, if not every day, you can find a new headline about another organization that has become the victim of a ransomware attack. In the last five days, I can find five articles about organizations that were attacked:
- Nokia subsidiary discloses data breach after Conti ransomware attack
- Nevada hospital ransomware attack could affect data of 1.3M patients
- When ransomware gets deadly: Attack brings down hospital system
- Microsoft Exchange servers being hacked by new LockFile ransomware
- US healthcare org sends data breach warning to 1.4m patients following ransomware attack
What is ransomware?
Ransomware attacks involve cybercriminals infiltrating a company’s network and systems usually because it is first downloaded by unsuspecting employees to their computers. The ransomware then spreads itself throughout the network accessing as many resources as possible. The end goal is to capture and encrypt the company data, then force the company to pay money in order to free up their data. If they don’t pay, their data might be sold on the dark web or destroyed. These types of attacks can cost organizations millions of dollars whether they pay or not.
Technically, ransomware is what is defined as an attack where the bad actors capture the data, prevent the organization from accessing the data and will only give them back access if they pay the ransom. Extortionware is when the bad actors threaten to sell the data on the dark web. The term ransomware tends to be used more often and is often used to refer to what might actually be extortionware.
Whether it is ransomware or extortionware, it is happening again and again and again. These attacks are no longer a surprise. They have become part of our daily lives. And it is time for us to put changes in place to stop them from happening.
How to prevent a ransomware attack
OneLogin’s own CEO, Brad Brooks, recently sat down with Theresa Payton, the first female White House CIO and a Leading Cybersecurity Expert to discuss among other things how ransomware has become the cyber weapon of choice.
During their discussion, she outlined five steps you can take to prepare your organization in case it becomes the victim of a ransomware attack. We have pulled together her suggested steps into a new ebook: 5 Ways to Prepare for a Ransomware or Extortionware Attack. Everyone should take a look and ensure that they are on the right road to protecting themselves.