Big Cyber Heist

In today’s disease-ridden cyberspace, companies in Africa are falling victim to malware infection, and ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent on the continent because users don’t employ adequate protection and neglect key security steps that could save them.

Ransomware on the rise

35% – The increase in global ransomware prevalence from last year, according to the Norton by Symantec 2016 ISTR report.
220 – The number of ransomware attacks in South Africa, according to Kaspersky Lab report released earlier this year. From the 114 countries that the Locky ransomware variant was detected in, South Africa was the sixth highest by number of attacks and the highest in Africa.
2.3% – South African computers may have been infected with malware over the last 24 hours, according to Kaspersky Lab data.
$1.22-billion – Lost business from malware events were recorded in the US from 2011–2015. First losses in the US were only noted in 2011. In 2015, these, combined with the business interruption claims, accounted for this amount and $23-million in recovery expenses. This is according to the NetDiligence cyber claims study.
40% – percentage of South African companies that are able to identify a ransomware threat, according to Kaspersky Lab.
$325-million – Estimated cost of a single ransomware attack according to a report on the Cryptowall v3 ransomware campaign, issued by the Cyber Threat Alliance in 2015.
38.1% – Increase in victimised enterprises (compromising mostly small businesses) paying the ransom (to remove malware from electronic systems and devices) since 2012, according to ISACA (previously known as the Information System Audit and Control Association). The figure has increased from 2.9% to 41% in four years.

Types of ransomware to look out for
Malware can enter a company’s network through an email attachment. Some of the malicious software programmes include Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Onion | Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Locky | Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Scraper (TorLocker). Ransomware programmes typically encrypt user files on computers, including pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, jpg, jpeg, bmp, tiff, png, mpg, mpeg, avi, 3gp, mp4, m3m, mp3, wav, zip and java extensions.

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