Ransomware has evolved from targeting individuals to extorting large sums of money from businesses with the threat of releasing or destroying their private company data. This type of email-based attack can cause tremendous financial losses as well as reputation damage that’s difficult and expensive to repair.

Read our ransomware white paper now for insights from Agari Chief Scientist Markus Jakobsson about:

  • The fundamentals of ransomware attacks.
  • Ransomware delivery techniques and examples.
  • Countermeasures you can take to prevent these attacks from reaching your organization and employees.

Ransomware Attacks on the Rise

One of the most high-profile examples of ransomware was when the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles declared a state of emergency due to a “Locky” ransomware attack. During this two week standoff, all hospital and medical records were offline, leaving the hospital defenseless while the hackers held the hospital’s data records hostage until the ransom was paid.

Synopsis of the Attack

  • The Hollywood hospital lost access to its computer systems for approximately two weeks after hackers infected hospital computers with a piece of ransomware known as Locky. All computer files were encrypted, making them inaccessible to hospital staff during this time.
  • The hospital decided to pay the ransom – which cost them 40 Bitcoin, the equivalent of about $17,000.
  • However, the real loss that the hospital faced was not the $17,000 ransom, but rather the millions of dollars worth of bad press, damaged reputation, and loss of business.
  • The funds paid may also have given the criminals the resources and momentum required to build better tools to extort other organizations in the future

It is increasingly become clear to organizations that the greater risk relates to having your data destroyed or private company information shared than having to pay a $17,000 ransom

How to Protect Against Ransomware Attacks

In order to properly safeguard against ransomware, it is important to implement proactive, trust-based email security controls to protect recipients from socially-engineered, non-trustworthy emails.

The Secure Email Cloud protects employees, partners, and customers from receiving untrusted emails that are the delivery mechanism for advanced email attacks such as ransomware. The Agari solution creates a unique model of trusted email by analyzing organization’s inbound email and outbound email senders, and then correlating it with analysis of billions of email messages a day from the world’s largest email providers including Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. That trust model is then used to categorize and block all untrusted email from reaching your employees’ or customers’ inboxes.

The inability to secure email is the number one cybersecurity threat facing businesses, governments and individuals today. Protect your organization from ransomware attacks by using Agari to secure your email.

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