There are few reliable statistics indicating the exact size of the global ransomware epidemic. But according to the FBI, just one variant – CryptoWall – netted its authors over $18 million in just over a year. It’s pretty clear that this is the black hats’ new favorite way to extort money from their victims. That’s why we’ve launched a comprehensive campaign to help you say no to ransomware.
As part of our series detailing how a layered defense approach is the best way for organizations to mitigate the risk of infection, in our last blog post we explained that most ransomware threats can be stopped at the web and email gateway. While that’s true, it’s important to make sure you have something in place to block anything that might get through. That’s where endpoint security comes in.
A money maker
A ransomware attack can be devastating. By making your corporate data inaccessible it can bring the organization to a standstill. Even if not of all of your data ends up getting encrypted by the malware, the likelihood is you will be forced to pull the plug on your entire IT systems as a precaution. This can lead to service disruption, lost productivity, and a hefty hit to your reputation.
The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was one of the first enterprise organizations to make the news after one such an attack. It’s thought the hospital was forced to turn away outpatients and cancel X-rays, CT scans and lab work as a result. CEO Allen Stefanek later admitted that the organization paid a ransom of 40 Bitcoins – around $17,000 at the time – to get its files back. He claimed this was the “the quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions.”
It’s easy to see why ransomware has become so popular among the cybercriminal community. And why organizations must improve preventative measures to avoid a similar fate.
What to do
As discussed in the previous post, Trend Micro’s web and email gateway solutions catch 99% of ransomware threats. This is important as the majority of threats of this type are targeted via these channels at your organization’s weakest point – its users. But what happens about that 1% that might sneak through? After all, with ransomware volumes rising all the time, 1% could still represent a significant number. And it only takes one ill-advised mouse click from one user to plunge the organization into chaos.
The answer is endpoint protection.
Trend Micro Smart Protection Suites have been architected to protect your users wherever they are: in the office, at home, on the road, or anywhere in between. They can help protect against the ransomware threat via:
Next time we’ll discuss the third vital stage in the layered defense strategy against ransomware: network protection.
At Trend Micro, we are committed to helping you protect your organization. With the growing ransomware epidemic, it is our goal to equip you with regular updates on current threats and information on how to best protect your organization. Say NO to ransomware!
Click here to read Part 4: Network Defense: Why Visibility is Key to Rooting Out Ransomware.