In the first nine months of 2019, at least 621 government entities, healthcare service providers and school districts, colleges and universities were affected by ransomware. The attacks have caused massive disruption: municipal and emergency services have been interrupted, medical practices have permanently closed, ER patients have been diverted, property transactions halted, the collection of property taxes and water bills delayed, medical procedures canceled, schools closed and data lost.
Email and attachments and RDP continue to be the attack vectors of choice. The latter is vulnerable to ransomware via exploitation on unpatched systems, misconfigured security settings and brute force attacks on weak login credentials.
“There is no reason to believe that attacks will become less frequent in the near future,” said Fabian Wosar, CTO at Emsisoft. “Organizations have a very simple choice to make: prepare now or pay later.”