We’re only halfway through 2017, but the world has already seen at least 2 global ransomware attacks. According to a report by Kaspersky, ransomware attacks have increased by 11.4% in the past 12 months, to almost 2.6 million worldwide. The complete extent of each attack remains unknown yet, but cybercriminals have succeeded in locking out organizations as well as individuals from their systems and data. In the case of the more recent Petya ransomware attack, people are unable to retrieve their data even after making ransom payouts.
Disabling access to sensitive data on computers and mobile devices not only causes inconvenience to end users, but can disrupt essential business processes and operations of enterprises, both large and small. Individuals, businesses, government agencies, educational institutions – ransomware affects everyone.
Both Petya and WannaCry exploit the EternalBlue vulnerability in Microsoft Windows to infect their victims’ systems. The zero-day exploit, purportedly created by the NSA, is one of the tools leaked online in April by hacker group Shadow Brokers. Hackers tweaked the tool to add a few more features to evade detection, spread and replicate rapidly, and infect more systems, before unleashing them across the world.
Growing ransomware and other cyberthreats make it challenging for organizations to undertake and expand their digital transformation efforts. While automation through IT increases overall efficiency, it also leaves organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Existing cybersecurity solutions cannot keep up with the increasing complexity and sophistication of cybercriminals and latest cyberthreats, which makes matters worse for enterprises.