Cisco Cybersecurity Report Warns of Serious Ransomware Dangers

Evolving methods. Server-side attacks. Increasing use of encryption to evade detection. These are only a few of the threats from hackers that enterprise IT departments are having to contend with in 2016. But things are about to get even worse, and most companies are unprepared to face attacks of the future, according to a new report by Cisco.

A perfect storm of fragile infrastructures, poor network hygiene, and slow detection rates are providing malicious hackers with the perfect environments in which to operate while leaving most organizations unprepared for future strains of more sophisticated ransomware, according to the company?EU?s 2016 Midyear Cybersecurity Report (MCR).

Spotlight on Ransomware

The MCR examines the latest threat intelligence gathered by Cisco Collective Security Intelligence. The report covers cybersecurity trends from the first half of the year, along with recommendations as to how organizations can improve security.

This year, the MCR?EU?s ?EU?Cybercrime Spotlight?EU? is focused squarely on ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks victims?EU? computers or encrypts their data, and then demands ransom to return control of the affected devices or files to the users. Ransomware is now the most profitable type of malware in history, according to the report.

Cisco said this trend will continue with even more destructive ransomware that can spread by itself and hold entire networks, and therefore companies, hostage. New modular strains of ransomware will be able to quickly switch tactics to maximize efficiency, the company added.

For example, future ransomware attacks will evade detection by limiting CPU usage and refrain from command-and-control actions. These new ransomware strains will also spread faster and self-replicate within organizations before coordinating ransom activities.

Undetected, Unprotected

One of the biggest challenges enterprises face in responding to threats from malware is the amount of time between when attacks begin and when they're first detected by the...

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