According to those responsible for protecting organisations from hackers and cyber attacks, ransomware is the most significant cybersecurity threat faced by companies today.
A survey of information security professionals conducted by cybersecurity firm Proofpoint concludes that ransomware is expected to pose the main cybersecurity threat to their organisations over the next year. This opinion was shared by almost half (46%) of the respondents, together with other forms of external extortion by strangers.
Ransomware remains one of the most damaging types of cyberattacks. At the same time, for cybercriminals, encrypting networks and demanding bitcoins in exchange for the decryption key is the easiest and quickest way to make a substantial amount of money from a hijacked network.
A significant percentage of organisations will pay the ransom (which can amount to millions of dollars) because they see it as the fastest way to restore the network with the least additional inconvenience to the business. And it’s because these ransoms are often paid that ransomware continues to be such an attractive and lucrative option for cybercriminals.
Some of the other cyberattacks also considered some of the most problematic threats this year include phishing and business email compromise attacks.
While not as visible as ransomware attacks, all of these cyber-threats can cause problems for organisations, especially if hackers can combine attacks like phishing with attacks that compromise cloud-account login credentials to gain access to networks.
These types of attacks are often used in the early stages of efforts to compromise networks with ransomware, so protecting the network against a particular form of cyberattack can also help protect it from others.
Fortunately, improving security in one way or another seems to be a priority for the vast majority of organisations, if not all. However, cybercriminals will also endeavour to adapt and evolve. This is why organisations must allow no room for complacency when it comes to cybersecurity and having a solid understanding of their own networks.