The Growing Threat of Ransomware: How to Protect Your Data


Technology has undeniably brought with it numerous perks assisting our daily life struggles both at our homes and offices, simplifying tasks at hand, while also entertaining us during leisure time.

Indeed the real world and the digital one seem like two parallel universes, but not separate, on the contrary they are entwined in such a way that sometimes it is difficult for us to do without our daily drivers and gadgets.

We are well aware though that not everything is rosy, and loop holes representing security threats or breaches exist. Similar to our precious homes, the various desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets need to be protected from malicious hackers who want to attain possession of our personal information be it work-related, bank accounts or even impersonating us to get to our contacts.

Let`s see how much ransomware has evolved, its characteristic threats and how to protect our data.

Ransomware – How Big is the Threat?

Maybe we don`t read or discuss about it often (or enough?) but the ransomware risk is bigger than we think.  It is effectively a worldwide menace, threatening every segment across the board, from conglomerates to small businesses and personal gadgets, mounting in scope, diversifying targets, and increasing in severity.

Sometimes it is hard for us to fathom this phenomenon and its consequences, so we are listing some statistics which will definitely hit home and make us realise the ransomware`s scale:

  • A recent statement by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that 37% of organisations fell victim to ransomware attacks
  • In the US alone, according to Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), some 14 out of 16 critical infrastructure sectors were targeted
  • In the half of 2021 ransomware-related expenses totalled to $590 million, superseding the entire previous year as reported by the US Treasury`s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen)
  • A study by Gartner predicts that 30% of governments worldwide will impose rules of regulations to administer ransomware payments by 2025

Recognising a Ransomware Attack

Most attacks are usually carried out in the following stages:

Files encrypted / Devices locked – files or their structures are scrambled until the data is no longer operational, while also devices can be locked with only the hackers holding the unique decryption key, leaving the victims helpless succumbing to demands of payments to obtain it.

Ransom note appears on the monitor – following the first step as described above, the hackers can now message the victims with details explaining the sum to pay, method of transfer, and time limit. Moreover, attackers can also threaten that if users won`t deliver payment by deadline, they will either increase the sum, erase files, or avert any future effort to decrypt them.

Meanwhile, victims can try to open the encrypted files but as long as there`s ransomware present the attempt will be futile, resulting in error messages advising that the files are invalid, corrupt or cannot be found. 

Safeguarding your Data – Solutions

Fortunately when it comes to ransomware there are several resolutions in the offing. Here we visit some popular options.

Backing Up Data – let`s admit it, nowadays we are spoilt for choice, from physical external hard drives to the Cloud server, we have only ourselves to blame if we don`t backup our data, and it is one of the easiest risk mitigation out there, as in case of a ransomware attack the victim can wipe his computer clean and reinstall saved files. It is recommended that businesses backup their data at least once a day.

Keeping All Systems and Software Updated – since hackers are always on the lookout for any outdated system, you would want to avoid any cracks in your defensive wall in the form of obsolete security patches for example. So, avoid a risky situation and keep your system and software like an antivirus updated.

Security Awareness Training – if you are an employer, it is wise to dedicate some quality time coaching your staff about ransomware and other risks which can be possibly faced within the workflow, as early detection is key and could result in preventing or even fixing the threat at an early stage. Moreover, various online courses exist also about other matters like malware in form of phishing emails, etc, which will provide know-how to your employees. As the saying goes prevention is better than cure, so regard this as an investment in your business, while protecting your trade.

Most Dangerous Types of Ransomware

Top ransomware who made the podium for the first half of 2023:

  • LockBit – keeping 1st place from 2022, accounting for 26.09% of total attacks
  • BlackCat – holding 10.59% of the `honour`
  • Clop – closing at third place with 10.09%

It is worth searching and reading what the above ransomware were capable of, truly shocking stories.

Top Tips

As a guideline to prevent ransomware from striking your commerce we suggest the following:

  • Manage Access – Restrict access to authorised users
  • Centralised Administration – Sensitive info should be classified, evaluated and appropriately secured 
  • Anti-Malware Solutions – Block attacks by installing tailored software like antiviruses
  • Backup on Diverse Storehouses – Secure your data and keep one copy off-site
  • Train Users – It`s key to have staff who recognise and deter threats


Being conversant about the subject is imperative as it places us in a better position to be able to recognise ransomware in all its various types and forms, identify threats and avoid them.

Keep in mind that ransomware surrounds our digital world and it`s much alive and kicking. Furthermore, hackers are always polishing their gears in line with the development of new technology, while minimising their tracks to remain untraceable.

Therefore, if you are setting up office or a desktop in your bedroom, we highly recommend to approach and liaise with experts to plan your security, defending your network, and ultimately your personal info, to avoid messy situations which could also be devastating.

Nowadays, shielding our precious data is not a luxury, but a necessity, and it is highly risky to leave it as an option.