December 12, 2018

The Growing Dangers of Ransomware

by: Align

The steadfast advancement of ransomware denotes a paradigm shift in cybercrime. What initially began as a consumer-focused attack, has grown into one of the most significant cyber threats that organizations have to contest with.

The following article details the dynamic nature and expansion of ransomware, as well as, highlights the inclinations that illustrate why it is such a pressing threat.

The indiscriminate, infectious aspect of ransomware pays no mind to whom its victims are. It targets every industry, expanding the number of infected systems to increase the potential return for attackers.

And so, the inherent monetary gain spurred by ransomware has drawn in criminals and widened their net to cast across every industry. 

Furthermore, its various strains utilized to infect systems have evolved as well, gaining in variety.

Ransomware comes in multiple forms and what's even more frightening is that it can attack your system without any act performed by an end-user. Though its mission remains constant, the means by which ransom is demanded ranges.


  • Locker
  • Doxware
  • Popcorn Time ransomware
  • Encryptor/Crypto malware
  • Scareware

Datto’s 2018 Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report, which surveyed over 2,400 IT professionals, revealed that 65% of ransomware victims had email and spam filters in place, 86% had antivirus software installed and 29% of victims were utilizing pop-up blockers.

Additionally, vulnerable Remote Desktop Protocol ports were reported as one of the top infection vectors for ransomware. With such a vast array of entry points, businesses have a very arduous undertaking locking down each one. 

A Growing Threat 

While malware most commonly affects Windows systems, 9% of managed service providers (MSPs) have witnessed it infect macOS, 8% have seen it on Android and 5% have seen it on iOS.

Contributing to the expansion of malware is increased connectivity through the adoption of IoT devices among businesses and consumers. This advancement in technology presents a dangerous opportunity for ransomware to start threatening human lives on a much broader scale.

Datto reported that 39% of MSPs expect the ransomware to begin targeting self-driving cars, while 37% anticipate that it will start to affect medical devices.

How to Defend Your Organization

In the wake of a sophisticated, growing risk, we urge organizations to take the necessary measures to protect their businesses from ransomware. In addition to technical safeguards, companies need to mandate employee security awareness training.

Equipped with knowledge of the latest cyber threats and techniques to prevent ransomware from gaining access to their system, employees become cybersecurity aware; rather, than ill-prepared.

For more information regarding how your business can better safeguard its data and systems, contact an Align Cybersecurity expert today by clicking here

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