Ransomware payments Picture this: Imagine your business falling victim to a ransomware attack, with critical data held hostage by cybercriminals demanding a substantial ransom.

Safeguard your assets with strategic options on ransomware payments.

There was a surge in ransomware attacks in 2023. Henceforth, the average ransom demand experienced a notable uptick witnessing a staggering 68% increase. With this, the LockBit gang spearheaded the highest recorded demand at $80 million, notably after targeting Royal Mail.

Notably, ransomware groups have refined their tactics. These groups have been more resourceful and sophisticated to concurrently target a larger number of entities.

Additionally, emerging threats in the sights encompass the potency of AI. An illustrative incident involved the CEO of a British energy provider transferring approximately $250,000 to a scammer. As a result, the scammer leveraging the AI, mimicked the voice of the head of the unit’s parent company, persuading the CEO to wire funds to a supposed supplier.

Your valuable data is locked away by cyber criminals demanding a huge ransom fee as your business gets hit by a ransomware attack. You can’t afford to pay for it.

But, there’s a twist – just like those “buy now, pay later” schemes, some ransomware gangs are offering victims with ransomware payments on extension options.

Recently, research reveals that ransomware groups are getting creative with their extortion strategies. One group is even offering victims various choices when it comes to their ransom demands.

These ransomware payment “choices” include:

First, the payment to delay the publication of their stolen data will have a standard fee of $10,000 ransomware payments for the transactions… Or, the demand of payment to have their stolen data deleted before it’s made public.

Thus, the exact amounts charged are often negotiated with victims, adding a chilling dimension to the whole ordeal.

To increase the pressure on victims, these ransomware groups have added some terrifying features to their websites.

These include countdown timers displaying how much time businesses have before their data is released, view counters, and even tags revealing the victim’s identity and description.

It’s all designed to make victims feel cornered and more likely to give in to the demands. You might be tempted to give ransomware payments to protect your business data. Not so fast.

Paying is always a bad idea and here’s why…

First, paying doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your data back or that the cyber criminals won’t demand more money later.

By paying, you’re essentially funding criminal activities, encouraging them to continue their attacks on others.

Paying a ransom might even get you into legal trouble, as some governments have made it illegal to pay cybercriminals.

So, what can you do to safeguard your business from falling victim to ransomware payments?
  • Ensure you have regular, secure backups of your data. This way, you won’t be at the mercy of cyber criminals.
  • Educate your staff about the risks of ransomware and train them to recognize phishing emails and suspicious links. Combat it with cybersecurity awareness training.
  • Invest in robust cyber security software and keep it up to date.
  • Keep your systems and software updated with the latest security patches.
  • Segment your network to limit the spread of ransomware if one device gets infected.
  • Develop a clear incident response plan, so you know exactly what to do if you’re ever hit by a ransomware attack.

Avoiding payment to cyber criminals seldom resulted in improved situations. With this, paying businesses became more recurrent targets nowadays. As a result, prioritize proactive measures to enhance your security. If you’re seeking assistance in bolstering your cybersecurity, reach out to Cleartech Group today.

Discover valuable insights and strategies by accessing our resource guide here.

Finally, explore our Cybersecurity tipsheet and gain a comprehensive understanding of What is Cybersecurity. Don’t miss out – empower yourself with the knowledge you need to stay secure.