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8 Insights on the Future of Ransomware

1. IS RANSOMWARE AS BIG A THREAT AS THE MEDIA CLAIMS IT IS?
Ransomware is a variant of malware that we are seeing as the next wave of quick compromise attacks. What that means is quick entry and quick exit. No longer do the bad guys need to hover around on networked devices and perform complicated breaches only to get sensitive information or data. Then, that sensitive information or data needs to be sold somewhere and a payment needs to be collected. A lot of stuff could go wrong, and it’s a lot of work for the hacker. Many attackers would rather just cut out the middle man and go right to instant collections. Ransomware has not even remotely hit its maturity curve on the effectiveness for a hacker to utilize it as a major threat.

2. WHAT TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS ARE THE MOST LIKELY TARGETS?
You have to figure that most ransomware campaigns are spray-and-pray. They target massive lists of organizations and their employees hoping for the best. A targeted ransomware attack is going to be the future. Think like a hacker; you need a victim that has money and relies on uptime as one of the most important factors of their business. Critical infrastructure is one of those industries. Hospitals and other time sensitive industries are in line because every second counts. The time wasted to decide over paying a few thousand dollars is not worth the loss of life. This is the hacker’s mindset on choosing victims for more targeted ransomware campaigns. It’s inevitable that we will see more targeted ransomware campaigns.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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