Anatomy of a ransomware attack – from discovery to surrender

Have you ever been in a situation where your company was hit by ransomware? Watch the video Turn the Lights on Ransomware, filmed by Trend Micro, to discover how ransomware hit a company and how they coped with it.

It started with a targeted phishing attack

A bogus email apparently sent from a world-famous industry conference was received by an employee, who then clicked the malicious link masked as a link to register to the event. With this simple action, the malware was installed almost instantly and it started scanning through files and encrypting data. Through the network connection, it then spread to other endpoints, obtaining credentials and encrypting as many files as possible, backups included.

Valuable data kept hostage in exchange for ransom

In a few hours, the ransomware attack encrypted 200 terabytes of data, from customer records to intellectual property and financial data. To get them back, the company had to pay $500 for each affected machine, which was quite a high ransom given that hundreds of endpoints were affected. And if the company refused to pay, the decryption key would have been destroyed and the company wouldn’t have been able to recover the data. Consequently, the board decided to pay.

A combination of technology and training to keep your company secure

Ransomware attacks are disruptive and effective, and spreading quickly. Technology like email gateway protection, and endpoint and network protection can dramatically reduce the number of attacks hitting your company, but remember that your ultimate defence is your staff. As seen in the example above, it all started with a spear-phishing email attack: it took just one link to give the ransomware free access to the company’s system.

Make cyber security and educating employees a priority

Training your whole staff is likely to cost less than paying the ransom. You’ll also raise your staff awareness of information and cyber security, as well as help your staff recognise phishing campaigns and other scams that might target your company. The easiest and most cost-effective way to train your employee is with e-learning courses: you don’t need to get everyone gathered together for the course, cutting travel costs and reducing the time spent away from their daily duties. With a focus on detecting phishing attacks, the Phishing staff awareness course is the obvious choice to raise awareness of cyber security.

Involve your employees in the fight against cyber crime >>