If you're like most people, you probably think ransomware only threatens big companies or government agencies. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
According to a recent federal report, US banks processed approximately $1.2 billion in ransomware payments in 2021. That's a massive sum of money, and it doesn’t even account for cases that occurred outside the US. With each attack causing an average of $4 million in damages, it's no wonder that ransomware has become a major concern for businesses across the world.
The good news is that you do not have to be a victim of ransomware. You can protect your organization with Panzura's cloud-native security solutions. The key is understanding how ransomware works and the strategies your organization can use to make your networks more resilient against attacks.
So, what exactly is a ransomware attack?
As the name implies, ransomware is malicious software that holds your computer and/or data hostage until you pay a ransom. It works by encrypting data and demanding payment in exchange for the key that unlocks it.
Picture this scenario: you're working late one night and receive a message on your computer saying that all of your data has been encrypted and will remain inaccessible until you pay the hacker. It's every IT admin's nightmare, and if the malware has spread across all of your systems and data, it can be difficult — and quite expensive — to recover.
Types of ransomware attacks
It’s important to realize that ransomware attacks come in many different forms. For example, there's the classic “locker” type of ransomware which is what we just described: the malware encrypts your data and stops you from accessing it until a ransom is paid.
There's also “destroyer” ransomware which deletes all of your data unless a ransom is paid. “Scareware” is another version of ransomware that displays messages and pop-ups on your computer claiming that your sensitive data has been compromised and demanding payment in exchange for it not being released.
With that said, at its core, ransomware revolves around the malicious use of data encryption to extort money from victims.
Ransomware attack techniques
Ransomware attacks can differ in their deployment and tactics. Some of the most common ransomware techniques include:
The most common method is known as “phishing.” In this type of attack, hackers send malicious emails or attachments to trick victims into downloading and installing ransomware on their systems.
Another popular technique is called a “waterhole attack.” For this version, hackers inject their malicious code into vulnerable websites or applications. Once they gain access, they deploy ransomware and then demand payment for it.
Finally, there are also more sophisticated “zero-day” attacks that exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities in software or hardware. These attacks can be challenging to detect, as they take advantage of security flaws that the victim may not even know exist.
Ransomware attacks that made the news
Now that we've reviewed some of the most commonly used types and techniques of ransomware attacks, let's take a look at some recent ransomware incidents:
The Accenture ransomware attack in 2021
In 2021, Accenture, one of the world's largest professional services companies, was hit by a ransomware attack that compromised 6 TB of sensitive data from the company's network.
The hackers demanded a $50 million ransom for the release of the stolen data, but Accenture refused to pay and instead worked with security experts to restore their systems from backups.
A group called the Lock Bit Ransomware gang ultimately claimed responsibility for the attack, citing an exploit of group policies on Windows domains.
Recent ransomware attacks on Apple subsidiaries
Apple has a reputation for having some of the most secure systems in the world. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the myriad of partner companies that they work with.
A ransomware attack targeted one such business partner in 2021. The hackers used a variation of ransomware known as “Sodinokibi” to encrypt their computers and demanded a $50 million ransom in exchange for the decryption key. Fortunately, Apple was able to detect the threat before it spread further and worked with security experts to contain it.
When Apple refused to pay, the hackers began releasing documents and data stolen from their partner company. This included blueprints for their new Apple devices, which were quickly shared online in a highly embarrassing incident for the tech giant.
Ransomware attack on JBS
In 2021, JBS, one of the world's largest beef processing companies, was hit by a ransomware attack that temporarily shut down critical systems. The hackers demanded an $11 million ransom for the release of their data and threatened to delete it if they did not receive payment. After suffering significant losses, JBS paid the ransom and successfully reclaimed its data.
As we consider these examples, it's important to point out that paying the ransom is not a guarantee that ransomware victims will get their data back. As a matter of fact, very few victims recover their data after paying the ransom. According to a report by SecurityWeek, approximately 200,000 victims who paid the ransom never received their data back.
The effects of a ransomware attack on a company
The fallout of a ransomware attack can be far-reaching and damaging. In addition to the financial losses that come from paying a ransom, companies may experience reputational damage if their data is leaked or stolen. Furthermore, there are regulatory fines that companies may have to pay if they fail to comply with various privacy regulations (such as GDPR, HIPAA, and so on).
Finally, businesses may experience significant downtime if their systems are ever impacted by ransomware. This can lead to a loss of customers, revenue, and trust. All in all, it is clear that ransomware attacks should not be taken lightly — they can have disastrous consequences for any business that falls victim to them. That’s why it is crucial to take preventive measures to protect yourself from such attacks. This is where Panzura's ransomware protection technology comes in.
Panzura takes a bold new approach to ransomware protection.
Panzura's cloud-based ransomware service not only provides you with the best protection against such attacks — it also simplifies the process of recovery and restores your data to its pre-attack state.
The solution leverages AI and machine learning to detect malicious activities in real time, preventing the attack from spreading further. It also lets organizations quickly restore their systems from backups, reducing downtime and financial losses. Furthermore, the solution provides end-to-end encryption of data stored in the cloud to ensure that your data remains secure even if an attack does occur.
As for prevention, most ransomware attacks exploit known vulnerabilities in software or hardware, which is why it's important to stay on top of patching and updating your systems.
Panzura Cloud Data Services provides an automated solution for security updates and patching across all cloud storage services, so there's no need to manually update each system or worry about leaving any systems vulnerable.
Panzura's security architecture is also designed to detect and prevent ransomware attacks by monitoring suspicious activity. The platform will alert administrators when it detects an attack in progress, so they can take immediate action to stop the spread of the ransomware before it does too much damage. This makes it easier to protect against ransomware and other cyberattacks.
How can you get started with Panzura?
Time is of the essence when it comes to protecting your company against ransomware attacks. That's why Panzura makes it easy to get started with its security solution right away.
You can sign up for a demo of our secure cloud storage service and get up and running in no time. With our secure cloud data services, you can rest assured that your data is protected from malicious actors who may be out to exploit it for nefarious purposes.
We also offer comprehensive security plans tailored to meet the specific needs of organizations of any size — so you can find the perfect solution to protect your business from the crippling effects of ransomware attacks. By taking the necessary steps to safeguard your data, you can minimize the chances of falling victim to a ransomware attack — and keep your company's information safe and secure.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a demo of Panzura's secure cloud storage service and get protected today. With our reliable security solutions, you can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and keep your business safe from ransomware attacks.