A recent report from Statista recently showed that the number of ransomware attacks had increased significantly over the past years. The increased number of attacks is down to a few new trends in the digital space.
So, we look at why ransomware attacks have been on the rise in 2021. There are various reasons behind the increased number of attacks over the past few years. Most of it is due to negligence, and the remaining part is due to poor control measures.
What Is A Ransomware Attack?
A ransomware attack is a form of malware or device hack that threatens to avail an individual’s data or even block access to a resource unless they pay a ransom. The common forms of ransomware will block a user’s system such that even a knowledgeable person won’t access it. Advanced ransomware attacks use techniques such as crypto-virology to breach systems.
Usually, such malicious systems encrypt the victim’s data so that they become inaccessible. Next, the perpetrator often asks for a ransom payment to restore the system. Usually, ransomware attacks occur through Trojan software.
The perpetrator might disguise the file as a legitimate version and trick the user into installing it in their system. In some cases, the ransomware travels through emails or networked computers. A good example would be the Wannacry virus, which travelled between networked computers.
Causes Of The Recent Ransomware Attacks:
The increase in ransomware attacks over the past few years can be attributed to a few reasons. Some of the common ones include:
Lack Of Cybersecurity Awareness:
Cybersecurity awareness refers to the amount of information web users know about threats such as ransomware. End users are often the weakest link in any online or networked system.
A good example would be in business organizations where staff members are often not aware of such attacks. Or, it can occur to mobile phone or computer users who are not mindful of loopholes that exist in their devices.
Such threats can easily create holes in the organization’s system through the weakest links. The result can be that such software can lead to data loss, system damage, and various other issues.
In some cases, the cybersecurity awareness issue can be on the part of malicious employees. So, businesses also have to find ways to become aware of cybersecurity issues.
An Increased Number Of Technology Users:
A world without valuable resources such as the internet is virtually impossible today. Furthermore, devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and various other devices have become everyday occurrences.
As of January 2021, there are over 4.5 billion active internet users globally, which rounds to 60% of the world’s population. So, this means that the number of internet users who are oblivious to cybersecurity threats increases significantly.
Malicious individuals who use ransomware attacks often use this increase in web users to their advantage. Furthermore, resources such as handheld devices have become crucial in accessing resources such as the internet. However, while phones hold lots of critical data, many users are still prone to ransomware attacks.
Improvements In The Internet Of Things:
The internet of things has become an essential resource in the world today. IoT includes devices with special sensors, software, and technologies for the exchange of data. The data exchange occurs over the internet, which connects to various essential tools.
It’s a resource that has made life easy by making it easy to complete tasks that were initially impossible. However, the threat of ransomware and oblivious users is still an ever-present threat.
Ransomware attackers can take advantage of such loopholes in everyday resources that include the use of technology. According to a recent report, Ransomware attacks have increased by over 90% in IoT resources.
People who fail to use such resources without the correct security techniques will face various challenges. Hackers are becoming sophisticated in their exploits and are finding ways to penetrate resources we use daily.
Lack Of Proper Ways Of Executing Cybercrime:
While various states have various rules restricting cybersecurity attacks, multiple challenges still exist in executing such crimes. A good example would be that most cybersecurity crimes occur from a different location.
So, jurisdiction issues arise, and law enforcement authorities find it challenging to collect or organize information relating to a particular case. There are a few other possible problems contributing to poor outcomes in cybersecurity court cases.
These common reasons can include lack of awareness, concise cybersecurity laws, and various other issues.
The Motivations Behind Such Attacks Are Always Changing:
The perpetrators of such attacks often have varying levels of the motivation behind attacks. It’s one of the key reasons why cyberattacks are on the rise. Some perpetrators are out for extortion, while others are out to wreak havoc in the lives of people. Furthermore, the use of ransomware has also evolved significantly over the past few years.
Besides, new ransomware issues are on the rise, and keeping up with such changes is not easy. For instance, groups such as anonymous have used ransomware software on various occasions to pursue their goals. Such changes in the motivations behind such attacks could be due to the ever-growing scope of the internet.
Ways Of Dealing With The Increased Ransomware Attacks:
These types of compromises on digital systems are likely to occur more in the future. However, a few helpful suggestions for controlling any new malware attack in future include:
- Awareness programs – organizations, schools, businesses, and the government have a role in ensuring users of digital products are aware of such threats.
- Concise cybersecurity legislations – these legislations will help reduce ransomware attacks, especially in the collection of helpful information.
- Improve cybersecurity measures – cybersecurity should take advantage of solutions such as AI and big data to provide robust security for system users.
The number of internet and technology users has increased significantly over the past few years. So, issues such as ransomware attacks are bound to increase. The main reasons for the increase include lack of awareness, a large number of technology users, and more. However, using the right control measures can have a positive impact in controlling any future occurrences of such attacks.