Ransomware is big business. In the cybercrime world, nothing is quite so lucrative as holding someone’s systems and data hostage and bartering its return in exchange for millions of dollars. It’s so lucrative, in fact, that if you’re a hacker, you can’t afford not to be in the ransomware game.  

Over the last few years, ransomware gangs have gone corporate, or at least adopted a startup mentality. These are sophisticated businesses that look similar to yours: they have recruiters, HR, salaries, bonuses, contractors, and managerial hierarchies. Their websites look legit. And they’re agile. When the industry pivots, they pivot. If they’re getting too much attention, they simply disband and rebrand.  

cyber operations secure your attack surface now

Like other startups, these businesses are always looking for ways to diversify. Criminals are discovering it’s less risk and less work to sell a product than wage an attack themselves, so they’ve integrated Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) into their business model. It’s based on the Software-as-a-Service model where a product is available online and licensed for use. 

They’ve integrated Ransomware-as-a-Service into their business model. 

These organized gangs sell access to ready-made RaaS tools to buyers (called affiliates) either by subscription, profit sharing, or licensing fees. And it’s a big part of why ransomware attacks are so prolific. 

Buying these kits is easy and affordable, and they lower the barrier to entry. Not adept at programming? Lack technical expertise? No problem. A quick trip to the Dark Web and you can stage an attack in no time. 

How to Protect Yourself and Your Organization 

Traditional defenses are actually a good start. We call it brilliance in the basics, and it’s a strong foundation for your environment’s protection.  

  1. Enable multi-factor authentication and enforce strong passwords.  
  2. Maintain consistent and secure configurations aligned with NIST’s cybersecurity framework and the Center for Internet Security’s benchmarks. 
  3. Apply the principle of least privilege. Fewer people with admin rights means a smaller chance of a breach. 
  4. Educate your users on how to spot and evade an attack (phishing is a particular pain point to be aware of). 
  5. Keep your software up-to-date to avoid exploitable vulnerabilities. 
  6. Test your operational and administrative preparedness. 

(Check out Ransomware Prevention, Simplified for a deeper dive into my top recommendations for preventing ransomware from infiltrating your systems.)  

Take It Further

Cybercriminals aren’t the only ones innovating. We’ve invested heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our Extended Detection & Response (XDR) uses next-gen AI to collect and analyze data across our client portfolio to predict, preempt, and prevent threats to your environment. 

We’re agile, too. When clients bundle our managed IT and XDR services, we’ve seen an average of 40% faster problem resolution. And those clients are 80% less likely to have a vulnerability escalate to an incident compared to companies who only have XDR with us. 

At Agio, our vision has always been to empower our clients with secure, reliable, resilient systems—even as shrewd criminals push the envelope. 

Do you have what it takes to fend off evolving ransomware gangs? It is a 24×7, continuous process requiring expertise and evolving solutions.  

 We can help.  

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