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February 02, 2022

New Report Highlights Most Frequent Targets of Ransomware

The digital world is dealing with a massive dilemma these days. Pandemic conditions have caused a massive surge in online activity, and businesses have been hard at work to ensure productivity remains constant outside of office settings. For the most part, the business world has successfully adapted to the challenge, thanks to cloud networking, remote/hybrid support, artificial intelligence, and automation capabilities.

However, this transition has not been without negative consequence: ransomware and cybercrime are reaching unprecedented levels, and are causing chaos for organizations relying on new digital infrastructure to keep business activity moving forward. Almost every digitally focused business is currently in the crosshairs of hackers these days, but some industries are getting hit more frequently than others. In fact, a recent article from ZDnet discusses new research from Trellix which shows over half of ransomware attacks are targeting three specific industries: banking, utilities, and retail.

Logically, these targets make sense from a criminal mindset. Banks hold immense amounts of cash, allowing successful hackers to collect huge sums if their software manages to infiltrate networks. Utility companies provide essential services to the public, and ransomware attacks exploit their importance by cutting off these services until a payment is made. Retailers risk losing massive amounts of customer and operational data to ransomware attacks, and in some cases, cause stores to close until the attack is under control.

No industry is entirely safe from ransomware, but leaders of companies in previously mentioned business sectors should step up their security efforts to prepare for the near future. Additionally, the following tips should be in the forefront of every business leaders mind:

  • Stay up to date with the latest software updates to prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities.
  • Work with security experts and manage service providers to integrate the most advanced protections available.
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication to prevent bad actors from gaining access to protected systems.
  • Backup and encrypt all critical business data to avoid giving hackers leverage.
  • Keep up with technology news reports to increase awareness of hacking tactics and ransomware campaigns.
  • Communication regularly with employees about practicing safe computer habits, and provide a plan of action to report suspicious network activity.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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