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Ransomware is Having Its Best Year Ever


The recent rash of successful ransomware attacks against municipalities, state and local government, and school districts is bad for organisations and great for cybercriminals.

In August of this year, security vendor Armor identified 17 organisations – most of them school districts – that were successfully attacked by Ryuk and other ransomware families in just 11 days. Now, 17 attacks in 11 days sounds miniscule in a world where we talk about hundreds of thousands of new malware variants. But we’re not talking about ransomware attacks that impact a few endpoints; one of the victims, the Rockville Center School District, was asked for a ransom of $176,000, negotiating it down to $88,000.

In the last year we’ve seen both a concerted effort to target municipalities, schools, and other “softer” targets that have less security in place than an enterprise organisation, as well as an increase in the attempted scope of an attack to include as much (if not every part) of an organisation’s network.

So, the cybercriminals behind these attacks are having a great year – plenty of victims, huge attack scopes, and lots of money pouring in. With ransomware estimated to have a global damage cost to organisations $11.5 billion in 2019, according to analyst firm Cybersecurity Ventures, this is a problem that will continue to plague any organisation that does not have ample security in place.

Most organisations focus on solutions used to secure the logical perimeter, email, and the endpoint. While important, users also need to be taught to act as part of your security strategy through Security Awareness Training. Without teaching users how to identify suspicious phishing campaigns or social engineering scams, any malicious content that makes its way past your security defenses will be clicked on, potentially causing the next big ransomware attack.

Free Ransomware Simulator Tool

How vulnerable is your network against ransomware attacks?

Bad guys are constantly coming out with new strains to evade detection. Is your network effective in blocking all of them when employees fall for social engineering attacks?

KnowBe4’s “RanSim” gives you a quick look at the effectiveness of your existing network protection. RanSim will simulate 15 ransomware infection scenarios and 1 cryptomining infection scenario and show you if a workstation is vulnerable.


Here’s how it works: 

100% harmless simulation of real ransomware and cryptomining infections

Does not use any of your own files

Tests 16 types of infection scenarios

Just download the install and run it 

Results in a few minutes!

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