You read that correctly: ransomware is the single greatest risk to your company.
Even in times of the COVID-19 global pandemic, ransomware is still the one risk where, tonight, the company CEO can lay her head down on her pillow with the company doing fine, profits up and operations running smoothly, and then wake up a few hours later to a company literally shutdown and facing imminent bankruptcy.
Because, overnight her company was hit with a ransomware attack that encrypted all of its data and locked down its computer network bringing all of the company’s operations to a grinding halt. Because the company’s backups were also encrypted — something we now see more often than not since many backup processes are automated — the company faces the a Hobson’s choice of negotiating with the threat actor or closing its doors.
The threat actors are now demanding millions of dollars in Bitcoin for the ransom payment.
To make matters worse, they are not only holding the company’s network hostage but they have also stolen all of the data from its network (including sensitive personal information and other valuable information of its customers and business partners) and are threatening to auction the data off to the highest criminal bidder to then use for their fraudulent purposes.
Now, the fate of this company hangs in the balance and is dependent upon two things:
- Does the company have the cash on hand to pay the millions in Bitcoin for the ransom — or, does it have appropriate cyber insurance to cover this risk; and
- Will the threat actors “honor” their promise to provide the decryption keys once the payment is made.
While this may sound like an alarmist type of post, the reality is, this scenario is happening to companies everyday.
You can also read more about this scenario in the following article: Ransomware gang is auctioning off victims’ confidential data | Ars Technica