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Remote Employees and Network Security

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Ransomware Attacks: Here's what's trending in the next year

Shannon Mayberry
2 min read
Jan 25, 2021 12:00:00 AM

New ransomware threats to expect in the coming year

The threat of ransomware attacks in the past year has remained very real, hitting businesses throughout the Upper Midwest and far beyond. Knowing these threats exist is one thing, but anticipating how these threats will morph and change in the coming year is an important aspect of the work we do to protect organizations like yours from ransomware. So, what ransomware trends do we experts see coming in 2021 in the digital space? Here's a rundown.

Trends in ransomware threats to watch for in 2021

In 2020, our world not only faced threats from the pandemic, but we also had to fend off ransomware attacks. Unfortunately, cybercriminals get smarter and more sophisticated with the scale of their efforts every year, and we expect that trend to continue in 2021, putting businesses throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, and beyond, at risk. Here's what we see trending in new ransomware threats.

Even more secondary extortion

Secondary extortion is a ransomware attack where hackers not only encrypt data but also leverage the ability to steal it and publish proprietary or other sensitive data publicly. Already we're seeing ransomware gangs pull this off successfully—and that leads to copycat attacks. Businesses, without exception, have the information they need to protect, whether it is private communications, customer data, financial information, and more. Finding an IT security partner who understands what's at stake is vital to protecting your company's interests in 2021. At Locknet® Managed IT we can customize a service package to suit the scope of your needs, whether you're looking for a full-scale Managed Service Provider (MSP) or specialized expertise to augment your existing IT department.

Ransomware attackers will depend on commonly used tools

Tools and utilities that are commonly used and otherwise widely trusted by organizations are increasingly being used by attackers to cover their tracks. Using these tools or “Living off the Land” means threat agents can avoid getting caught by the IT protections you have in place because the action does not appear anomalous. We are seeing this sophisticated type of attack more frequently and these attacks can be very effective and hard to detect. Due to the success so far of these attacks, we expect them to significantly increase in 2021.

We'll continue to see trouble from all types of ransomware attackers

The prior success of both “big name” ransomware attacks and smaller attacks ensures that both continue to increase in frequency in 2021. So, while the big ransomware gangs will target large businesses and services and extort them for huge sums of cash, the smaller ransomware attacks will remain prevalent as well. You will likely see these appear as spam messages in your email, and their approach is to leverage the volume of emails until someone takes the bait. In the coming year, we see both of these types of attacks continuing, and that means your IT partners will need to keep an eye on both large-scale ransomware attacks as well as low-grade ransomware attacks.

Having the right IT security partner is vital in 2021

Ransomware attacks have paid off big for cybercriminals, but your business doesn't have to become a cautionary tale. By staying up to date on the latest ransomware attacks and the new ransomware threats in the digital landscape, you can protect your data and the data of your customers. To do so requires having the right IT security partner in place—whether that means an MSP handles all of your security needs, or simply supports and builds upon the good work of your IT department. Ready to learn more about how to protect yourself from ransomware attacks this year? Contact us and we'll help shore up your protection against both old and new ransomware threats.


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