Cybercriminals are leveraging ransomware threats to extort big money from organizations of all sizes in every industry, but financial services organizations are one of today’s primary targets. It is non-negotiable for financial services companies to maintain the privacy of theirs customers and the security of their confidential data. If a bank or credit union is hit with a ransomware attack, significant backlash is undoubtedly going to ensue – especially if customer data is held ransom for a significant amount of time.
The 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index has found the number of records breached dropped nearly 25 percent in 2017, as cybercriminals shifted their focus on launching ransomware and destructive attacks that lock or destruct data unless the victim pays a ransom.
Atlanta city employees coming to work this morning were handed an unusual notice: don’t turn on your computers. The municipal systems had been hit with a ransomware attack on Thursday, and employees were not to use their computer until they were cleared by the municipal IT group.
As ransomware continues to gain notoriety, cybercriminals are looking for more ways to get the most out of the malware that they develop. Similarly, other bad actors who may lack the necessary skills to develop malware themselves are looking for a way to get in on the action. This has led to an increase in ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), a practice in which cybercriminals put their ransomware up for sale, where it is purchased and leveraged by other criminals who are technically unable to develop their own variants.