Ransomware Guide

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware designed to extort money by encrypting device files or threatening to delete them completely. Recent news has shown that this type of attack has exploded in popularity of the past few years.

Some of the most high-profile ransomware attacks from 2020 have shown that the threat is growing in number and sophistication. For example:

  • Travelex. At the beginning of this year Travelex reportedly paid $2.3 million, paid in Bitcoin, to regain access to its computer systems. It was announced in August that the foreign exchange firm had appointed PwC as administrators due to the cyber-attack followed by the Covid-19 crisis having “acutely” hit the firm.

  • Blackbaud. Perhaps one of the most high-profile events of the year was how the software supplier became a victim of a ransomware attack in May in which over 20 institutions were affected, including many UK universities. The firm announced the hack weeks after it took place, which goes against GDPR that states companies must report a significant breach within 72 hours. Due to the scale of the attack, the fact that Blackbaud paid the ransom demand arguably encourages future attacks.

  • Garmin. The online services for Garmin went off in July due to a ransomware attack. There were rumours around how much the ransom demand exactly was with figures of $10 million being reported; however, the amount and whether Garmin paid is unknown.

These are just some of the ransomware attacks so far in 2020. If the rest of the year follows the growing trend then unfortunately ransomware attacks will not be going away.

We have put together some of the best resources from our vendors to help you understand ransomware and how you can protect your organisation.