Top Ransomware Trends and Statistics to Watch Out for in 2023
March 14, 2023, 6 min read
Instances of ransomware have skyrocketed this year, rising by 13% compared to 2021, and show no signs of slowing down. Keeping this in mind, let’s examine the leading ransomware developments you should be watching in 2023. What follows is an overview of the current status of ransomware, including its functionality in the present, potential future directions, and mental tactics you might employ to increase your chances of survival. In this article, we focused on ransomware trends, ransomware statistics, and much more such as ransomware facts.
This Is Where Ransomware Stands Now
Is there an increase in ransomware attacks? Let’s have a look at the statistics on ransomware.
Third of all businesses worldwide have been hit by ransomware, according to IDC. Going into 2023, this pattern will continue; ransomware groups are becoming more sophisticated, and attacks are becoming more targeted.
Some sectors are more at risk than others, and the threat to essential services is growing. Government agencies “saw attacks involving ransomware against 14 of the 16 U.S. critical infrastructure sectors,” including finance, education, energy, and more, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
While ransomware gangs primarily encrypt victims’ files and demand a ransom, there has been a recent uptick in the use of other extortion techniques. In underground cyber markets, a new type of vendor has emerged: the first access broker. These brokers provide ransomware groups with initial access, which is access to a compromised machine on a specific network or within a certain enterprise. This saves time and effort that ransomware groups can put toward spreading laterally, enforcing the ransom, and negotiating with victims. Between 2020 and 2021, there was a 58% rise in the number of IPOs listed.
The aim of attacks has evolved from simply encrypting company data to also focusing on data exfiltration, as evidenced by the proliferation of ransomware groups and the subsequent evolution of the ransomware market. An assaulter can use the stolen information in one of two main ways: Extortion, where the attacker claims, “I’ve stolen your customer list and exfiltrated it to my infrastructure. If you don’t give me $200,000, I’m going to leak the information. Another option is to directly sell your exfiltrated data, such as by offering a dump of user names and passwords on a dark web forum.
Since their start in 2019, double-extortion assaults, in which threat actors keep your data for ransom and threaten to disclose it online, have been widespread. In 2022, Digital Shadows, a business that analyses threats, discovered eleven new extortion gangs whose only concentration was on data dumps. Double extortion is another trademark of Blackbyte.
Famous ransomware collectives (like rEvil, Conti, and others) are merely rebranding themselves to evade public scrutiny. KrebsonSecurity claims that criminals need to be constantly innovating in order to keep their businesses afloat in the cyber world. Pretending to die or retire so that one can start over with a new identity is one of the oldest cons in the book. The purpose of this sort of deception is to confuse or divert the attention of law enforcement officials.
Cyber defense is dynamic, but so is cyber offense. The more safeguards we put in place and the more we can detect, the more these ransomware groups develop new sets of tools to circumvent our safeguards.
There are, of course, new, inexperienced ransomware groups emerging every day as well. These newer gangs typically rely on pre-made attack kits and ransomware builders rather than being proactive and working at the cutting edge to stay up with or outsmart the defenders. They can get their hands on these tools in a few different ways, sometimes even through security researchers who hack into the networks of major ransomware groups and leak their source code. These less-advanced communities can use these resources to play the role of their more-advanced counterparts.
2023 Ransomware Protection Tactics
Ransomware gangs continue to actively seek new members. These organizations are always looking for talented new developers and penetration testers to keep up with the ever-changing security landscape.
The risk of ransomware attacks can be reduced by employing a number of countermeasures.
A Mental Shift Towards Prevention and Control
No matter how secure something is, you should always assume it could be compromised. Although it is usually preferable to prevent a problem from occurring, sometimes it is more efficient to identify and stop an attack once it has begun.
The following methods among ransomware protection market trends are all appropriate for this strategy:
Consider the infection from the attacker’s vantage point at every stage. To be well prepared, visualize the actions you need to take (recon, lateral movement, etc.) when planning for an attack.
It’s important to hold regular tabletops with all the departments in your company. By utilizing attack simulation, you can often uncover vulnerabilities that might otherwise go undetected. Teams or individuals familiar with specific parts of the infrastructure, but not typically thinking from an adversarial perspective, can help discover and mitigate additional attack vectors. Think about the buried “domain knowledge” their viewpoints may bring.
Create an incident response playbook and practice it regularly. It’s crucial to get ready ahead of time. To make sure your team is always ready for anything, run regular exercises on real infrastructure.
Learn your environment’s norms so you can spot changes immediately. It’s important to have a firm grasp of the norms of your ecosystem in order to notice any deviations. If you want accurate metrics, you need to look deeper than a simple host list and learn about the applications and remote servers your hosts are communicating with. In order to get the most out of your telemetry, it helps to establish a good baseline for as many inputs as possible.
Defense in depth necessitates a multi-pronged approach, with multiple lines of defense in place to prevent an attack from succeeding.
To effectively handle events in your environment, you need a layered detection pipeline. Simply gathering logs is not sufficient; you must adopt an “assume breach” mentality and consider potential attack sources within your own environment. That can guide your efforts in determining which detection pipelines are most important, for instance:
Methods of recording process activity
- Data logging for network traffic
- Registration of Authentication Attempts
The next topic is safeguards, therefore let’s discuss those. These are the applications and programs you install in your system. Firewalls and email gateways are examples of active measures that can be implemented to reduce exposure to outside threats. Your detection pipelines may benefit from additional controls such as EDR.
Finally, the layered security architecture is another component of protection in depth. Always think about the company’s overall security while implementing a new tool. The introduction of a new tool can open up previously unexploitable vulnerabilities in the system. The application could have flaws, or the vendor’s remote management features could open up a new attack vector. These potential avenues need to be taken into account. Typically, security teams will implement a “zero trust” policy to combat this issue.
Utilizing a Security Operations Platform
It is crucial to have both awareness and adaptability when protecting against ransomware.
Prevent further entry. If phishing attacks are getting through your organization’s email firewall, GreyMatter can help by automatically analyzing these attacks.
Put a stop to the epidemic before it spreads further. By keeping your EDR tools and threat intelligence capabilities in sync and up-to-date,
The reaction is predetermined and robotic. By analyzing the causes of past occurrences, automation plays can prevent similar ones from happening in the future. It offers the ability to automatically quarantine hosts, destroy files, ban hashes, and block domains associated with spam and other malicious activity.
Maintaining a constant watch. The system’s consolidated view simplifies the detection and response to hazards in your environment.