Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common, with cybercriminals using sophisticated techniques to encrypt victims’ data and demand payment in exchange for its release. Recently, a major Angolan financial institution was hit by a ransomware attack, causing significant disruption to their operations and potentially compromising sensitive customer data while highlighting the pressing issue.
Ransomware attacks have evolved significantly over the last few years. If the “classical” techniques relied on social engineering tactics, such as phishing, to trick victims into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected files, the modern ransomware market has developed into a profitable criminal business model.
One of the newest trends in the ransomware market is the use of double extortion. In a double extortion attack, cybercriminals not only encrypt the victim’s data but also steal it and threaten to release it publicly if the ransom is not paid. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) allows attackers to rent or purchase ransomware kits and use them to conduct attacks. This lowers the barrier to entry for cybercriminals who may not have the technical expertise to create their own malware. Targeted attacks: Instead of indiscriminately infecting as many victims as possible, some ransomware operators are now targeting specific organizations, especially those with valuable data or critical infrastructure. These targeted attacks can be more effective and result in higher ransom payouts.
As we can see, the ransomware market is a lucrative industry for cybercriminals, with the potential to generate millions of dollars in profit. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, ransomware attacks are predicted to cost businesses over $265 billion by 2031. Both government organizations and financial institutions saw a huge rise in the average ransom demanded in 2022 bringing in to a whopping amount of $10.2 million in 2022.
Angola has also experienced this sharp increase. Relatively scarce security infrastructure and expertise from one side and the growing availability of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) platforms that allow attackers with limited technical expertise to carry out ransomware attacks make the threat very real. Another contributing factor is the low adoption rate of modern cloud services that provide “built-in” protection mechanisms. The country suffered several high-profile attacks, affecting both businesses and governmental services. WannaCry, LockerGoga, Ryuk, Conti –are only some examples of deadly ransomware campaigns that hurt and paralyzed numerous Angolan businesses recently.
These demonstrate that organizations in Angola must take steps to protect themselves against these threats. This includes staying up-to-date with the latest trends and implementing a multi-layered security approach, that ranges from deploying endpoint protection mechanisms, conducting regular security audits and assessments, performing regular data backups, conducting employee training, taking care of patch management to maintaining strong security monitoring and incident response practices.
Managed security services can be an effective way for organizations to enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect against a wide range of threats, including ransomware.
Here are some reasons why it makes sense to use managed services for ransomware protection (along with the other obvious benefits):
- Access to expertise: Managed security services providers (MSSPs) typically employ teams of cybersecurity experts with specialized skills and knowledge. By partnering with an MSSP, organizations can gain access to this expertise and benefit from their experience in managing and mitigating a wide range of security threats.
- Proactive threat detection and response: MSSPs use advanced tools and technologies to monitor networks, endpoints, and other critical systems for potential threats. By proactively detecting and responding to threats, MSSPs can help organizations minimize the impact of security incidents and prevent potential data breaches.
- Cost-effective: Building and maintaining an in-house cybersecurity team can be expensive and resource-intensive, particularly for smaller organizations. By outsourcing their security needs to an MSSP, organizations can benefit from cost-effective solutions that can be tailored to their specific needs and budget.
- 24/7 monitoring and support: Cybersecurity threats can occur at any time, and organizations need to be able to respond quickly to mitigate potential risks. MSSPs offer 24/7 monitoring and support, providing organizations with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their systems are being monitored and protected around the clock.
- Scalability: As organizations grow and their security needs change, it can be challenging to keep pace with evolving threats and the need for new security solutions. MSSPs can offer scalable solutions that can be adapted to meet changing needs, making it easier for organizations to keep pace with the rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape.
New Cognito is a trusted cybersecurity partner that helps organizations stay ahead of the latest threats and ensure that they are well-protected against ransomware attacks. We run Angola’s first and only local Managed Cybersecurity Services Operation Center (SOC). We have the Technology, the People and the Processes to cover all your ransomware protection needs in the MSSP model. We have the trust of our customers in sectors such as Health, Government, Mining, Banking and Oil & Gas, structural sectors of the country’s economy.
Contact us today to know more about what we do.