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April 28, 2023 | Updated on: October 18, 2023 | Reading time 5 minutes

Are You Ransomware Ready?

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Director of Support

In recent years, ransomware attacks have skyrocketed, with cybercriminals continually evolving their tactics. In 2022, it was noted that ransomware attacks increased by 13 percent, a jump greater than the past five years combined. Up to 1,981 schools, 290 hospitals, 105 local governments, and 44 universities were hit with ransomware in the U.S. alone in 2022. The overall number may even be higher, as many companies choose not to report ransomware attacks. With ransomware, it is not a question of if an attack will occur but when.  

Industries Most Affected by Ransomware

While no sector is immune to ransomware attacks, some industries are targeted more frequently. According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, the top five most costly business sectors for a data breach include:

  • Healthcare
  • Financial
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Technology
  • Energy

These industries are often targeted due to the sensitive data they possess and their perceived ability to pay ransoms.

The Financial Impact of Ransomware Attacks

The financial consequences of ransomware attacks can be devastating. For example, in IBM’s Data Breach report, the average data breach cost in 2022 reached USD 4.35 million. This figure includes ransom payments and the cost of downtime, data loss, and reputation damage. Additionally, the average downtime resulting from a ransomware attack is 22 days, which can cause significant disruptions to business operations.

Note the following other alarming statistics:

  • The average ransomware victim loses around 35 percent of their data
  • 80% of businesses who chose to pay a ransom demand suffered a second ransomware attack
  • 20% of companies faced a security breach because of a remote worker

The Importance of Ransomware Preparedness

As the saying goes, “It’s not if, it’s when.” No organization is completely safe from ransomware attacks; preparedness is crucial to minimize potential damage. Some critical steps to improve ransomware readiness include:

  • Patching systems to prevent exploitation of known vulnerabilities
  • Strong access controls, password policies, and multi-factor authentication
  • Cybersecurity awareness training to help employees recognize phishing and other malicious emails and websites
  • Creating backups of critical data, including data located in SaaS environments
  • Performing risk assessments of all SaaS applications deployed and eliminating shadow IT
  • Developing and testing a robust incident response plan

The Role of Cybersecurity automation

As ransomware attacks continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, businesses must stay ahead of the curve by using advanced cybersecurity strategies. Cybersecurity automation allows organizations to react faster than humans can before, during, and after a ransomware attack. Organizations can improve their ability to detect, prevent, and respond to ransomware attacks by automating various security processes.

SaaS Ransomware – A Growing threat

As more organizations shift their operations to cloud-based services, cybercriminals are adapting their tactics to target Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. As a result, SaaS ransomware is a growing concern, as it poses unique challenges and risks to businesses relying on cloud-based data storage and management solutions.

SaaS ransomware is a form of malware that targets cloud-based applications and services, such as Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Salesforce. Like traditional ransomware, SaaS ransomware encrypts an organization’s data and holds it hostage until a ransom is paid. 

However, unlike conventional ransomware, which typically targets on-premises infrastructure, SaaS ransomware infiltrates cloud services and exploits their unique features and vulnerabilities. Therefore, similar to protecting your critical assets from an attack on-premises, organizations must protect their SaaS data from ransomware.

Test your preparedness

It is vital to detect vulnerabilities before they become your weakest link. However, how do you test your ransomware preparedness, especially in SaaS environments?

Spin.AI’s Cloud Ransomware Simulator enables IT admins, SecOps, and CISOs to understand their ransomware-readiness by simulating ransomware attacks on your SaaS data. Using industry-leading technology, Spin.AI effectively generates 11 types of ransomware attacks to test your Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 SaaS environment, providing visibility to security gaps and other unseen vulnerabilities.

Learn more about the Spin.AI ransomware simulator here: Cloud Ransomware Simulator – Spin.AI.

Wrapping up

Ransomware attacks are a growing threat to businesses and organizations worldwide. By understanding the risks and taking proactive steps toward ransomware preparedness, organizations can minimize the impact of these attacks and protect their valuable data and assets. Remember, it’s not if, it’s when – so be ransomware-ready. Spin.AI’s Ransomware Simulator helps companies understand where they are vulnerable with their SaaS application environments.

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Written by

Director of Support at Spin.AI

Nick Harrahill is the Director of Support at Spin.AI, where he leads customer support, success, and engagement processes.

He is an experienced cybersecurity and business leader. Nick’s industry experience includes leading security teams at enterprise companies (PayPal, eBay) as well as building programs, processes, and operations at cyber security start-ups (Synack, Elevate Security, and Spin.AI).

Credentialed in both cyber security (CISSP) and privacy (CIPP/US), Nick has managed teams focused on vulnerability management, application security, third-party risk, insider threat, incident response, privacy, and various facets of security operations.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys trail running and competing in ultra-marathons, camping, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.

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