Rampaging Ransomware was key security threat in 2016

 Like Software-as-a-Service, there is now a market for Ransomware-as-a-Service,   and one of 5 businesses worldwide are affected

Bangalore, December 19 2016: Ransomware -- a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid as ransomware --  now has the dubious distinction of emerging as the biggest  challenge to  data security in the year gone by. 
In 2016, ransomware continued its rampage across the world, becoming more sophisticated and diverse and tightening its hold on data and devices, individuals and businesses
Russia-based Kaspersky Lab says ransomware attacks on businesses  increased three-fold during 2016: from an attack every 2 minutes in January to one every 40 seconds by October.  For individuals the rate of increase went from every 20 seconds to every 10 seconds,with more than 62 new families of ransomware introduced during the year.
This forms part of  the annual Kaspersky Security Bulletin that looks back over the year’s major threats and data and predicts what to expect in 2017.
There is now a  nefarious  Ransomware-as-a-Service business model  for criminals who lack the skills, resources or inclination to develop their own. Code  creators offer their malicious product ‘on demand’, selling to customers who then distribute it through spam and websites, paying a commission to the creator – the main financial beneficiary.
One in every five businesses worldwide suffered an IT security incident as a result of a ransomware attack and one in every five smaller business never got their files back, even after paying. The  highest rate of attack around 23%  was on Education and the lowest 16%  on Retail and Leisure industries.|
The full text of the report “Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2016 – Story of the Year: The Ransomware Revolution” is available here It also includes advice on how to stay safe and why not to pay the ransom. The key takeaway is summarised below:
How to stay safe

  1. Back up data regularly.
  2. Use a reliable security solution, and remember to keep key features – such as System Watcher – switched on.
  3. Always keep software updated on all the devices you use.
  4. Treat email attachments, or messages from people you don’t know, with caution. If in doubt, don’t open it.
  5. If you’re a business, you should also educate your employees and IT teams; keep sensitive data separate; restrict access; and back up everything, always.
  6. If you are unlucky enough to fall victim to an encryptor, don’t panic. Use a clean system to check our No More Ransom site; you may well find a decryption tool that can help you get your files back.
  7. Last, but not least, remember that ransomware is a criminal offence. Report it to your local law enforcement agency.