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Learn about Ransomware and protect your organization with resources from Cofense

What Is Ransomware?

According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware actors often target and threaten to sell or leak exfiltrated data or authentication information if the ransom is not paid.

  • Ransomware is readily available and changes faster than detection technologies can respond
  • In most cases, paying ransom is the only way to free hostage data and systems
  • Recent successful ransom situations will only encourage more attempts
  • Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be used to force untraceable ransom payments
  • Without proper ransomware awareness training, humans are widely susceptible to phishing, the most commonly used ransomware attack vector
Computer infected with ransomware
$ 1 M+

The average cost of a ransomware attack is $4.62 million

# 0

Phishing is the #1 attack vector for ransomware attacks

$ 255 B

By 2031, ransomware will cost its victims $265 billion annually, with a new attack every 2 seconds*

Cofense Ransomware Susceptibility
Reduce User Susceptibility – With phishing the #1 entry point for cyber-attacks, your defenses need to focus on the most pressing threats—active phishing campaigns that are probing your organization. Read our 2022 Annual State of Phishing Report to learn how you can avoid a breach from the phishing threats that are targeting businesses around the globe.
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Ransomware Worldwide – The development of Bitcoin and the availability of ransomware-as-a-service on the Dark Web has led to substantial growth in ransomware attacks globally. Although the actual number of attacks and victims is hard to quantify due to underreporting, the scale of the recent attacks is greater than has been seen before.

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Ransomware Training – Enterprises that foster ransomware security awareness stand a better chance of fending off ransomware and phishing. With Cofense PhishMe, real-world simulations are based on the latest threats known to bypass standard email security. Our interactive simulations on the Cofense LMS platform are consistently effective in building resilience against attacks. Ransomware security awareness can save your business millions in lost revenue and other costs. We can help. Find out how.

Other Ransomware articles that may be of interest:

Frequently Asked Questions

Ransomware is defined as a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it. Ransomware variants have been observed for years and often attempt to extort money from victims.
Ransomware uses an assymetric encryption. This cryptography uses a pair of keys to encrypt and decrypt a file. The public-private pair of keys is uniquely generated by the attacker for the victim, with the private key to decrypt the files stored on the attacker’s server.
After ransomware has gained access to a system, it can initiate encrypting its files. Since encryption functionality is built into an operating system, this simply involves accessing files, encrypting them with an attacker-controlled key, and replacing the originals with the encrypted versions. Ransomware can remain dormant on a device until the device is at its most vulnerable, and only then execute an attack.
Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan, entering a system through, for example, a malicious attachment, embedded link in a Phishing email, or a vulnerability in a network service.

Preventing ransomware is an important topic given the number of cyber-attacks targeting businesses and individuals worldwide. To protect yourself from ransomware, you should take the following steps:

  1. Keep your software up to date: Installing regular updates for your operating system, web browsers, and programs can help prevent exploits that deliver ransomware to your machine.
  2. Use strong passwords and unique usernames: Weak passwords are easy for attackers to guess or brute force their way into gaining access to potentially sensitive information on your computer.
  3. Back up important data regularly: System backups should be done frequently in order to restore any files that may have been encrypted or deleted by a ransomware infection quickly.
  4. Implement email security solutions: Phishing emails are one of the most common ways criminals get access into people’s computers – so make sure all incoming emails going through employee inboxes are first filtered before being allowed into these employees devices.

* According to Cybersecurity Ventures


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