Ransomware Incidents Increasing? Blame the Dark Net

April 13, 2017

Ransomware Incidents Increasing? Blame the Dark Net

By Sarah Roberts

Stock photography is a useful tool for revealing marketing’s misconceptions. Type in ‘healthy’, and you’ll find a slim woman laughing at salad. ‘Family’ brings up 2.0 children. And a search for ‘Cyber criminal’ returns a hooded young man, face in darkness, looming maliciously over a keyboard. They’re portrayed as shut-ins, outsiders, and deviants.

However, the real perpetrators behind ransomware - which now costs businesses over £800m each year - don’t always fit that bill. They could be mothers, old-age pensioners, or teenage girls. All you need to be a ‘cyber criminal’ is a credit card and a skewed moral compass.

You may also be surprised to discover that the people behind Ransomware don’t even need much technical knowledge. The skills that digital natives take for granted, such as installing a web browser, making a purchase on Amazon, and streaming videos, are all the criminals need to set up a cyber scam. The rise of ‘Ransomware-as-a-Service’ on the Dark Net means wannabe hackers can simply buy everything they need for cyber extortion.

Unfortunately, it’s now too easy to launch a criminal campaign, and even easier to become a victim. If you’re asking yourself, ‘how did they get infected?’ when a big business makes headlines, the answer is quantity. 156 MILLION phishing emails were sent every single day in 2015. An individual might field two, three attempts - but the forth might just catch them out.

So what can small businesses, and those that protect them, do about it? Firstly, you need to know your enemy. Understand the patterns and processes a cyber criminal uses. Then, you need to get a high availability Business Continuity solution.

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