Banks are Fighting Back Against Possible Ransomware Attacks

Banks are Fighting Back Against Possible Ransomware Attacks

As a major source of income for cyberthieves, bank targeting by means of ransomware attacks have become the crime of choice. As the name so suggests, ransomware operates by locking and encrypting files within a network until the user(s) provide appropriate payment (usually in bitcoin).

In a report provided by Verizon (as part of their Data Breach Investigation in 2018), ransomware has been trending highly out of all the malicious software targeting companies globally. In business sectors where malware was reported, 39% were said to be ransomware attacks.

Rather than encrypting single-user devices, cyberthieves are interested in broadening the scope of their damage, encrypting file servers or databases instead where the rewards are far greater in terms of making more money, as the report notes.

In the case of small banks, IT resources can be quite limited in their proper protection, as such businesses rely on older technology that wouldn’t bode well against cyberattacks.

Within the past few years, Ogallala, Nebraska’s Adams Bank & Trust was unfortunate enough to experience a ransomware attack, and as Jason Glazebrook--network administator for Adams Bank--explains it, such cyberattacks “are probably not uncommon” in the small bank sector.

According to Glazebrook, the $750 million-asset bank was running older software when he started working there three years ago; if the systems were targeted with ransomware, cyberthieves would gain access to large directories of accumulated data as opposed to just individual files.

As Glazebrook explains, “Ransomware is a challenge on its own, and using that type of [outdated] software makes it worse.” Indeed this is true, and while the cyberattack would not affect the entire enterprise, it would slow down individual systems through inconvenient disturbances. “It would usually affect one subsystem or another, but that meant there were people in one department who couldn’t access their data for a little while,” as he further comments. At the instance of an attack, the Bank’s IT support staff would spend hours trying to recover their data from backup files, costing the business a lot in terms of disaster recovery efforts.

Due to the easy-to-deploy and effective nature of ransomware, attacks have become more commonplace, as amateur criminals are even able to use shelf kits to create the malware and wreak havoc on a business.

Cyberthieves follow where the money goes, attacking banks as their top target in order to maximize profit. As reported by Verizon, 76% of data breaches were solely financially motivated just within the previous year.

In 2017, Trend Micro--a cybersecurity firm--found that mobile banking malware samples increased by a whopping 94% in comparison to last year’s statistics. Banks even garnered 983 attacks per day (over web applications) in just the previous year as reported by Positive Technologies, another security firm.

While ransomware threats have been rising, so have the costs for banks in spending hundreds of millions in cybersecurity technology upgrades. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also been implementing stricter regulatory demands, requesting banks to disclose incidents of cyberattacks.

To make certain its data is protected from further ransomware damage, Adams Bank has invested in cybersecurity technology with Zerto, an IT resiliency firm, that provides immediate alerts to the bank’s IT team in the instance of an attack, allowing files to be restored back to its original state within an hour.

While such measures can help safeguard banks, it is still difficult to be truly safe from any sort of cyberattack. As Michael Hathaway--co-founder of Windmill Enterprise--explains, many banks prefer to “keep all their data secure physically and in a single place, and then that can become point of attack.” While storing all data in one place may provide a sense of security for the banks, it nevertheless becomes an opportunity for hackers to easily gain access to all important documents.

When it comes to protecting data, banks must take precautionary measures to adopt a combination of security protocols, as technology expert and Zerto employee Gijsbert Janssen Van Doorn explains.

“Prevention plans aren’t enough as attacks build in frequency and strength, causing irreparable harm to brand reputation and increasing risk,” he further comments. “Instead, organizations need to invest and create full IT-resilience plans, including backup, disaster recovery and cloud mobility, allowing them to withstand both planned and unplanned disruptions while at the same time driving digital transformation.”

Fortunately, with reevert’s backup system implementation, recovery is made simple and easy in case of such ransomware attacks, as precious data can be restored within seconds, not hours. With fast on-demand data snapshots, reliable cloud storage, and a quick recovery time, banks and other businesses can rest assured their files are well protected. Visit our website here to check out reevert’s many features for your business’s backup needs.

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