Businesses beware: ransomware is back and the attacks are more complex and costly than ever. Ransomware campaigns targeting businesses rose in January-March 2019, compared to October-December 2018. Businesses also typically paid out more to the groups behind ransomware to retrieve their files, while infections caused more downtime, on average than during the previous quarter.

These trends  – highlighted in research from a range of vendors – represent a continuation of worrying circumstances identified in a Telstra report released last year. The report found ransomware was on the rise and was increasingly targeted. Nearly one third – 31%  – of Australian respondents whose businesses had been interrupted by a security breach in the past year were experiencing ransomware attacks on a weekly or monthly basis. This was the highest of all countries surveyed.

These findings highlight the importance of vigilance and preparedness in protecting networks and data. This means educating your workforce and working with partners, customers and participants in your supply chain to avoid clicking on suspect email links or attachments. Ransomware groups often incorporate text in these emails that aim to trick people into clicking quickly on these malicious links or attachments.

Other steps your business should take include ensuring anti-malware products are implemented and up to date and taking regular backups that are then stored in isolated locations. Your business should also document the steps to be taken and the responsibilities of individuals and teams in the event of a ransomware infection. These measures will help minimise loss and disruption.

At FirstWave, we provide email and web security solutions featuring advanced malware protection to help businesses avoid falling victim to ransomware and other attacks. For example, our Cloud Email Security product provides advanced, feature-rich and configurable cloud email security services for businesses – powered by our cloud email content security and analytics platform technology. If you would like to learn more, please contact