INTERPOL has announced a collaboration with cybersecurity firm Kaspersky as the two organisations announce the third birthday of its ‘Anti-Ransomware’ Day.
The third anniversary of anti-ransomware day comes three years after the notorious WannaCry ransomware pandemic that saw organisations lose billions, as well as customer trust when their systems were held hostage by hackers. In total, around 200,000 computers spanning 150 countries were infected, with notable hacks like the UK’s National Health Service being hit with $100 million in damages. All up, the damage from the WannaCry ransomware saga is said to total $4 billion.
Research at Kaspersky shows that WannaCry remains one of the world’s most damaging pieces of malicious software, which has been the driving force for the firm to team up with INTERPOL and get individuals and businesses to start implementing best information security practices across the board.
Studies from Kaspersky show that businesses that were hit with a ransomware attack in 2019 lost an average of $1.46 million, with numbers showing that of the 767,907 total infections, one-third of them were targeting businesses. WannaCry remains the most prevalent form of malware used in a ransomware attack, with 164,433 - or 21% - of the infections using its code.
Both INTERPOL and Kaspersky are reminding the public that the true damage of a ransomware attack extends far further than the $1.46 million when you consider the hit to an organisation’s reputation, as well as time and resources wasted during and after a cyber breach.
What exactly is Ransomware? Well, ransomware is a special type of malicious software - malware - designed to enter a person or organisation’s system and infect a collection of files. Once these files have been encrypted, only the hacker responsible for infecting them in the first place is able to decrypt the files - in essence, freeing the hostage - once a ransom has been paid, usually in the form of a cryptocurrency.
Other notable forms of ransomware code include the GandCrab, which accounted for 11% of attacks, and Stop, which launched 4% of attacks recorded by Kaspersky.
Sergey Martsynkyan, head of B2B product marketing at Kaspersky said “The WannaCry epidemic, which saw companies lose millions in revenue because of downtime or costs related to reputational damage, demonstrated what can happen if ransomware happens on such a large scale.”
“The threat remains relevant today,” he continued to explain, “as there will be users out there who still may not know much about it and can become a victim. The good news is that the right security approach and relevant measures can make ransomware yet another non-critical threat,” he concluded.
Information security management systems remain one of the most effective means of mitigating the risk of a ransomware attack, so for more information on how you and your organisation can stay protected and implement best practices in your operations, get in contact with us today.