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How Does Ransomware Happen and how to Prevent them

how to Prevent Ransomware

The FBI reports that from the beginning of 2022 to July there were more than 2000 ransomware incidents while Chisa announced that 14 U.S critical sectors have been subjected to intense ransomware attacks, according to Statista when it comes to ransomware incidents, phishing is the most popular distribution Vector followed by spare fishing and human errors and when we talk money ransomware developers can gain up to one billion dollars per year while the average cost of a data Bridge due to a ransomer attack is 4.3 million dollars.

as we enter October also known as cyber security awareness month I thought we could dedicate the next four weeks to raising awareness about ransomware which has emerged as one of the biggest security threats making headlines around the world by affecting thousands of companies regardless of Industry size or locations.

as we already know ransomware is a type of malware that blocks users from accessing operating systems or files until a ransom is paid it does so by locking the system screen or encrypting the user's files.

The most common ransomware attack vectors

here are the most common infection methods used by cyber Criminal in this type of attack:


phishing attacks are one of the most common delivery methods for ransomware intruders send emails that appear to come from a trustworthy contact and attach a malicious file such as a word or Excel document for example when the attachment is opened the ransomware is downloaded infecting, encrypting, and compromising the system with the user's files being held for ransom.

another type of phishing and significant ransomware attack Vector is when malicious links are included in the email bodies.

Web pages

malicious ransomware code can also be found in web scripts concealed in allegedly genuine or compromised websites the fact that victims think they are visiting a legitimate website makes this the ideal attack Vector For Thread actors, the code is automatically downloaded when someone visits that site and once it is ransom it can infect the user's computer and move laterally throughout the company encrypting files and data.

Remote desktop protocol

RDP is another popular attack Vector because it is inexpensive easy and extremely accessible, RDP ports are usually poorly protected and vulnerable to cyber attacks furthermore proper password protocol is a key component of RDP security but is often disregarded by users. poorly secured RDPs are an easy target even for Less experienced cyber criminals looking to collect credentials.

Pop-ups and ads

pop-ups and ads from a particular company that appear to be legitimate could be fishing events that direct targets to malicious websites or prompt them to download malware, being cautious is advised because they are common ransomware attack vectors.

Patch software

software vulnerabilities score pretty high among the most common ransomware distribution methods in some instances when software is not properly updated or patched cyber criminals can be able to get access to networks without having to obtain credentials, after entering the system they start attacking crucial applications and accessing or stealing private information.

USB devices

USB devices constitute yet another way for ransomware attacks in these types of intrusions the USB device once plugged in gives the Cybercriminals the ability to create keystrokes on a machine, install malware before the operating system boots up, a spoof network card and redirect traffic or encrypt networks with ransomware.

Social engineering

is one of the most successful ransomware attack vectors all scams which rely on people's instinctive desire to be helpful and kind or to submit to Authority fall under the encompassing umbrella of social engineering it can involve any of the above mention methods such as phishing, smashing CEO fraud, or a combination of them.

by using social engineering ransomware actors can obtain administrative access to a computer system allowing them to move quickly throughout the company's digital environment and encrypt critical files and data.

The best ways to keep your company protected against ransomware

fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself from ransomware infections because technology is constantly evolving it's critical to follow basic cyber security practices and stay vigilant so that you'll never put yourself or your company at risk of any ransomware threats so here are the best practices are when it comes to ransomware prevention:

Security training

Attempting to reduce human mistake may be the most fruitful approach of ransomware prevention. inform all your employees about the possible ways a ransomware infection can happen and tell them to pay particular attention to phishing emails. a strange email address hovering over redirecting to a strange website with grammar errors, the impersonal addressing could be a sign of compromised emails.

invest in security awareness training Solutions as employees can learn through phishing simulation to better deal with scam emails and check twice before you open links and attachments in your email malicious links are for sure very popular lore tools of social engineering tactics being present in spam emails or messages but you should never click on a link that seems suspicious as the infection can happen in no time.

Keep software up to date

this might seem a very repetitive and free real urge but as simple as it might be it is indeed the basic solution in terms of prevention that's because programs are not perfect and for this reason, cyber security researchers are always improving them by releasing patches so organizations can only benefit from the latest Patches by running updates all the time.

Apply the principle of least privilege

the principle of list privilege is a core principle of zero trust where users are granted the minimum required access to applications or systems to successfully perform their tasks.

Use VPN services on public Wi-Fi

networks public Wi-Fi is never secure and by using it your computer is more vulnerable to attack, a hacker could, for instance, perform a man-in-the-middle attack and make sure you use a VPN to protect your actions while connected to public Wi-Fi.

Network segmentation

through Network segmentation the network is split into subnetworks and thus you have different segments this is particularly useful when we talk about lateral movement if ransomware infects your systems it would not be able to spread to other network Parts if there is a delimitation.

Implement the three-two-one backup rule

the most effective way to handle ransomware attacks is to use this rule so keep at least three versions of data stored two backup copies on different storage media and store one backup version of site three two one.

Make an asset inventory

by making an inventory of your ID assets any data device or another component of your company's environment you can identify the most vulnerable ones and think about how an attacker could infiltrate your network this will offer you precious clues about how you can improve your prevention strategy.

Use a multi-layered cybersecurity

approach powerful cyber security is the key use reliable cyber Security Solutions that will safeguard your endpoints and network like ransomware encryption, protection tool, a firewall that blocks any incoming ransomware attacks directed toward your computer, good antivirus which detects the ransomware that is already on your computer, email security, DNS filter, automated software patching, Pam software, and the list can go on.