As we start each year, the team at thedigitalageblog looks into the crystal ball and makes predictions for the year. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong, but we find it useful to look to the future and document what we see.
Our Prediction centers on the ongoing Ransomware attacks:
Ransomware will continue to evolve and become increasingly complicated. We continue to be shocked at the amount of ransomware attacks where the “victim” actually pays the ransom. The FBI said it received 992 CryptoWall complaints from April 2014 to June 2015, representing total losses of $18 million—and that is just reported cases. Because criminals are finding this scheme lucrative, hackers will continue to work on producing virus variants that are harder to detect and decrypt. Ransomware depends on human error; it is usually activated by a user clicking on a link in a phishing email. Encryption of sensitive data combined with regular back-ups onto external devices or cloud services are an excellent defense against these schemes. If you have a current copy of your data or web site, business can continue with minimal disruption. Paying the ransom does not, after all, guarantee full restoration of your data or web site. It’s important to note that mobile devices can also be overtaken by ransomware, and often the accompanying threat is to ruin one’s reputation.