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Brandon Rochat, Sales Director: Africa, Cybereason.
Ransomware kits are widely available on the dark web and have a lower bar of entry for use and deployment by malicious actors. Since 2016, at least 4 000 ransomware attacks have taken place, according to the FBI.
According to the report, the average ransomware demand globally is estimated at $761 106. Organisations that decide not to pay the ransom spend around $732 520 to recover their systems. Businesses that pay lose twice the amount due to all the additional costs, totalling close to $1.45 million.
“Ransomware is being spoken about at the board level. It is one of the top five overriding threats these organisations are facing. And I’m not talking just IT threats, I’m talking about all threats for CEOs, CTOs and CIOs,” explains Brandon Rochat, Cybereason’s sales director for Africa.
Once deployed, ransomware can cripple an organisation in a matter of days. Dealing with the aftermath of a ransomware attack is complicated and costly.
“The bad guys, the threat actors – they want to get into your network to deploy a piece of malware that will ultimately encrypt your network and your data. The ransom can be in different formats – money, Bitcoin – and in return they’ll unlock your data,” adds Rochat.
On the dark web, ransomware is being offered ‘as a service’, affecting organisations across every industry vertical. It’s no wonder that 2020 was declared the year of ransomware.
“There’s been a huge increase in ransomware and all different versions of ransomware are now coming through. There have been some large, devastating ransomware attacks in South Africa,” says Rochat.
“The original ransomware was always around – dropping malware and holding companies to ransom for some kind of financial gain. What we’re starting to see is an old military tactic where you make a lot of noise over here, but you go in over there. It’s a deception mode.”
According to Rochat, ransomware is rapidly evolving from a loss of data where companies are chasing ransomware payments in the form of Bitcoin (for example) to data being lost at the back door, which nobody is aware of.