Ransomware is a major threat to many businesses. This type of malicious software attack holds organizational networks and data for ransom. Oftentimes, the cybercriminals responsible are looking for a big payout via cryptocurrency or other online methods just for businesses to regain access to their own networks and data.
But what if there were a software program that could scan for ransomware attacks and stop them before they could spread within a business network and pilfer a company’s data? That’s exactly what ORAM Corporate Advisors is working on at the present.
Notable Ransomware Attacks in 2022
Ransomware has been a threat to the health and well-being of a variety of industries for years and the attacks in 2022 have already started strong. In January alone, there were three notable ransomware attacks that occurred that impacted both Americans and U.S. organizations and vendors.
The year began with a ransomware attack on Bernalillo County discovered on Jan. 5, 2022, in New Mexico. The attack impacted the 675,000 residents of the county including those living in Albuquerque, the county’s most populous city. The attack led to the closure of many government buildings and disrupted operations at the County Clerk’s Office including property tax payments and marriage license applications, the County’s Metropolitan Detention Center, and the probate court.
Puma, a sportswear manufacturer, realized it had data breach issues on Jan. 10, 2022, after a ransomware attack against Kronos, one of the company’s workforce management solutions providers. Though the attack against Kronos occurred in December 2021, the hackers responsible filched personal information belonging to more than 6,632 of Puma’s employees including social security numbers and other encrypted data, according to an online article by Security Week.
On Jan. 12, 2022, Hensholdt, a multinational defense contractor with headquarters in Germany, confirmed that some of its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom had been victimized by a ransomware attack. The company, which is contracted with the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. National Guard, ironically provides sensor solutions for defense, aerospace, and security software. The Lorenz ransomware group claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had stolen an undisclosed number of files from Hensholdt during the attack, reported Bleeping Computer.
These attacks in January are just scratching the surface of attacks that occurred just in the first quarter of 2022.
The Real Threat of Ransomware
According to a piece by TechTarget, Ransomware Researcher Allan Liska of Recorded Future said ransomware attacks often require different types of recovery methods. He said it can take businesses and organizations months or even years to fully recover from a ransomware attack.
Beyond the inconvenience of ransomware attacks shutting down access to business networks, systems, and data, the monetary cost can be overwhelming. A prediction by Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that the global cost of ransomware attacks will increase from $20 billion in 2021 to $265 billion by 2031.
The naming and shaming of ransomware victims by attackers are also becoming more commonplace. This leads to serious damage to a company’s reputation that can cause it to shutter when clients leave and no new customers can be found. Forced downtime and the cost of recovering from ransomware attacks can truly impact the bottom line of a company and 60 percent of businesses close their doors within six months of a data breach or cyberattack, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
Ransom being demanded is also on the rise. A report by Palo Alto Networks found the average ransomware being demanded in 2021 in the U.S. was $2.2 million. That’s an increase of 144 percent over the average demand of $900,000 in cases studied in 2020. Ransomware as a service (RaaS) is growing as “entrepreneurial threat actors” are selling ransomware to bad actors in an effort to get in on the criminal cash flow.
Ultimately, the threat of ransomware, which accounts for only 10 percent of all breaches, is serious. Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report showed ransomware doubled in frequency in 2021 alone. It’s expected that this threat will only continue to increase in the future.
Leveraging Anti-Ransomware Software
The cybersecurity professionals at ORAM are currently working on implementing a “canary in the coalmine.” Just as miners once used canaries to alert them to dangerous fumes in mines that warned them in time to exit before death set in, ORAM is working with a third-party provider to implement a “canary” that detects ransomware.
Such software would give ORAM clients the ability to be ultra-proactive when it comes to stopping ransomware in its tracks. The software would give users the ability to detect ransomware attacks early on so that their digital environment can be shut down to prevent the ransomware attack from spreading.
Another goal of the software is a full implementation and surgical recovery of a business’s networks and data if a ransomware attack has already occurred. Clients, with the help of ORAM, will be able to leverage this new software to immensely reduce the incidence of ransomware attacks in corporate environments. This means reducing downtown, improving uptime, and enhancing productivity for businesses despite the ongoing threat of ransomware. Furthermore, the odds of having your business networks and data tied up until you pay a ransom would be greatly diminished, saving your company time, money, and the heartache of damage to its reputation.
To learn more about the threat of ransomware against your business, how to prevent it, or to get more information about ORAM’s use of anti-ransomware software, visit ORAM online or call (617) 933-5060.