From bad to worse: Majority of IT pros expect ransomware uptick

Ransomware is the hot topic in every InfoSec circle. This is also, at least according to recent findings, a major concern among general IT higher-ups. In a recent poll by Trend Micro, as reported by Infosecurity-Magazine, 69 percent of IT bosses are certain that “their organization will be hit by a ransomware attack over the next 12 months.”

Their beliefs are based on another report from Trend Micro that showed roughly half of the surveyed IT teams acknowledge a ransomware attack in the past two years. In the same report, 27 percent of these professionals saw their organizations attacked more than once by ransomware campaigns.

Should the event occur in which those surveyed get hit by ransomware, it is not certain as to whether the companies can effectively fight an attack. According to the article in which this report was broken down, “a fifth (20 percent) of UK IT decision makers aren’t sure how ransomware works, while 11 percent have still never heard of it.” This leads me to believe that only a fraction of companies that are major players in IT will truly be prepared when their sensitive data comes under attack.

With the numerous types of ransomware, such as those that encrypt your files or encrypt the entire hard drive, to have so many IT executives concerned and also ignorant of the threat is truly problematic. In the next year there likely will be a massive increase in successful ransomware attacks, because black hats have made around $1 billion in 2016 committing them.

So what can businesses do to help their upper management and lower-level employees fight this threat? According to Trend Micro’s Bharat Mistry, the solution is “on-going education; something that is done yearly” and training that “needs to reflect the current threats and their impact with some simulated testing to see how well users are applying the knowledge.”

With 2017 quickly approaching, and 2016 far from over, IT professionals and laymen alike must take preventative measures to lower the risk of total chaos in the case of a ransomware attack.

Photo credit: Freerange Stock

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