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Discuss about the Security Concerns of Ransomware for Spyware and Trojan.

Malware attack is most vulnerable virus attack and once it enters into the system it can damage its important files and information that is stored into database. Malware has different types such as Spyware, Trojan, Ransomware etc. Every type of malware is critical to control and so much harmful for computer users. Moreover, data that is damaged by ransomware is hard to recover if there is no backup software has used. Today, in business organizations and also at homes computer systems and databases are connected with networks. Therefore, it is possible that while transferring files over internet, ransomware or any other virus can enter into any computer system via emails and media files. Ransomware is considered so harmful because it locks the victim’s computer by encryption and it is very difficult to open locked system without decrypt key. The purpose of making this report is to provide comprehensive detail about this malicious virus, its background and its major risk factors (Usa.kaspersky.com, 2017).

Ransomware is not new among IT users. From its background, it is identified that at the end of 19th century it was known among people as AIDS. From that time to till now, various vulnerable cases of this have encountered by people. The main goal of ransomware is to change the name of a computer file of a victim by using encryption technique. Due to change in file name, victim cannot use that file without getting decryption code from attacker. Here hackers take advantage of this situation and ask for money from victim to provide decryption code. There are several large business organizations that have already encountered this issue of ransomware. Sony, eBay and other ecommerce companies are in list of victims of ransomware (Recorded Future, 2017). Besides this, in past days, a new and popular service of RaaS came into existence that was commonly known as Ransomware-as-a-Service. This service was powerful enough and cyber-criminals got new way to violate computer systems and database securities. Not only RaaS, but also by using other sources hackers were tried to install ransomware into users’ systems and those sources were redirection of web users to fake, suspicious and harmful websites, sending of emails with harmful attachment to different users that can easily enter into victim’s systems and can cause heavy damage and injection of virus into database by using executable scripts. These susceptible sources are also used in modern era by cyber attackers to hack data. On the behalf of this discussion, there is no doubt to say that from its initial stage to till not ransomware has enhanced in its exposure. Now after getting historical information about ransomware, in next of this report, I will emphasize on risk factors and security concerns of this malevolent virus (Security Intelligence, 2017).

Essential Risk Factors of Ransomware

From last many years, several risk factors of ransomware have encountered by computer users. These risks are important to consider both at users’ and developers’ end to maintain high level security and privacy of computer systems and networks. In upcoming paragraphs, I would like to emphasize on essential some key risk factors related to ransomware (Rains, 2017).

This is most crucial risk factor of ransomware and other types of malware that these viruses can damage whole database. By hackers a harmful programming code is injected into system by using an unsuitable method and after entering into system virus spreads itself and puts harmful impact on overall functionality of system such as low performance, less security and reliability and interruption in different applications of system. The deleted data of database by ransomware is very hard to rework. But if user has a backup of database then restore is possible. Otherwise, there is no chance for data recovery (TechRepublic, 2017).

To collect personal information of users and to misuse that information further, hackers are developing fake websites. To redirect users to these websites, hackers use ransomware virus. This virus is sent to users in emails and when email is opened and link is clicked by user then he or she automatically redirects to fake websites (Zetter et al., 2017). In this unauthorized way, information is collected from people. Not only common users but also business organizations get trapped in this process of hackers. By getting information from business enterprises, cyber-criminals leak that information to competitors and due to this, company has to face big loss in market (Microsoft.com, 2017).

Like hacking, phishing has also become a big problem for online users. It is one of the common ways to obtain personal and credit card information from users in an unauthorized way. Ransomware helps hackers to perform phishing. By just sending a small vulnerable code into system, whole system can be locked and required information can be stolen. In case of banking and e-commerce websites, this problem of phishing has increased to large extent (Team, 2017).

Therefore, I can say that ransomware has several risks and it can be more risky for people if proper security parameters will not be used by them. Let’s have a look to some security concerns of ransomware (Healthitoutcomes.com, 2017).

There are security related worries that have occurred due to ransomware and must not be ignored. The common security concerns of ransomware are phishing, hacking and identity theft and in case of other virus attacks these issues are also encountered by users. But ransomware is not limited to these worries. There are also some other worries that are important to discuss here in this report. Those worries are related to problems of personal computer systems. There are hardware and software components of every computer systems. Ransomware also puts impact on these components and it leads to slow implementation of system applications. Moreover, slow performance and poor outcomes of software solutions and hardware equipments are also encountered. Basically, holistic structure of system and its functionality got corrupted due to ransomware attack and it is the main motive of hackers. By doing this, the security of system can be broken easily and data can be stolen without any knowledge of owner. Furthermore, background processes of a system also got affected due to ransomware and slow down the working of system and as well as network (Crowe, 2017).

Database Damage

Another security concern that is related to ransomware attack is enhancement in spams. It is commonly noticed by internet users that some spam emails are received into their website accounts from unknown email ids. These mails are vague and can be harmful. The quantity of spam emails is increasing day by day. Besides this, unwanted ads are also installed in browsers of victims that consists of scripts for obtaining computer information such as IP address and other information about network. These ads block browsers or slow down the browsers and the main reason of this is virus attached with ads. The main observing amendments after installation of ads are fixing of unfamiliar toolbars in browser, unknown changes in browser’s front page and inappropriate results for search. Whenever a user encounters these changes into their system then they feel worry about their system and their confidential information. This is the time when users must concern with security experts to get rid of this problem and security level of system should be enhanced. The resolution of these security concerns is mandatory but before that identification of these concerns is required to do by victims, so that accurate reasons for this can be identified.  Now, in upcoming sections of this report I would discuss some strategies that address security concerns of ransomware (Digital Guardian, 2017).

Identification of Security Worries of Ransomware

To identify the security concerns of ransomware following strategies can be used.

The first strategy is to find out signs of ransomware. If any user notices slow functionality of system or network and notice unfamiliar behavior of computer applications as well as browsers. Therefore, these symptoms shows that system is affected with malware attack or it might be ransomware or other type of malware. Sometimes, it is possible that a normal user may not identify these signs properly then in this case support of a computer technician can be taken. On the behalf of this information a right action can be taken to secure system (Lerner, Tuttle, McDonald & Tuttle, 2017).

Ransomware is not uniform to its old versions. Various new versions of it has already used by hackers to perform hacking and phishing attacks. These latest versions of ransomware are CTB, CryptoWall and CryptoLocker. Every new version is harmful than other. Due to this reason, activities of hackers are getting more active and privacy issues are increasing (Bailey, 2017).

In past days, several cases of ransomware have encountered by users. So by analyzing those cases and by collecting information regarding causes and impacts of ransomware better security strategy can be developed. Moreover, by analyzing old security solutions, it is easy to find their deficiencies that can be fulfilled while making new security software solutions. That is why, users should use past records of previous events to explore knowledge (ERM Software, 2017).

Enhancement in Development of Fake Websites

These discussed strategies must be used appropriately to find out ransomware and its impacts on systems and to make quick decision for security. Now in next section of report, I would like to recommend some solutions to control ransomware and its impacts (Webroot.com, 2017).

After analysis I got to know some significant solutions to control ransomware and those solutions are listed as below:

Backups is one of the important solutions that can help to restore lost or damage data. It is beneficial for every user to take backup of databases on regular basis. It will be helpful in case of quick attack of ransomware that may be unpredictable by users. Backup must be clean and kept into a secure and virus free system or on network. Otherwise, backup can also be damaged. Data backup software solutions are available online that must be downloaded and configured properly into system by users (Osborne, 2017). 

With the enhancement in complexities of controlling virus attacks like ransomware, new security software solutions are developed by web developers. The recent solutions are much better than conventional solutions such as anti-virus. So it will be better if users collect information regarding updated security solutions and then use those solutions. To get long term security from these solutions, the accurate configuration of these solutions is necessary and periodic update of these solutions is also required (Capgemini.com, 2017). Besides this, it is also necessary that browsers, operating system files and other security software that are already installed into computer system should be upgraded on time. These all software solutions contribute in maintenance of full security of system and database.

It is responsibility of developers to aware users about latest techniques and tools to maintain long term security of systems and as well as of networks. If users will have this information then they will use those solutions (Solutions, 2017).

In this way, to some large extent, problem of security and privacy of data can be resolved at users and developers end. It is not like that solutions are not available for sustaining long term security and privacy of data. But efforts are required to get these solutions. Developers also need to focus on advancement of solutions by using latest techniques.

Conclusion and Future Trends

To sum up, I can say that dealing with ransomware is not a very big deal if all required security standards are implemented at developers and users end. The risks and concerns of malware can be resolved if carefully security techniques will be used at users’ end and they will follow security policies and regulations in a right way. In future, ransomware trends can get more advanced and vulnerable that may become difficult to control. To cope up with that situation, new and powerful strategies are required to use by users. This report will help to understand people where to they need to take care while storing, sending, retrieving and modify information that is stored into online databases. Every individual that is using computer and network services for their work, they must be aware about different virus attacks and enhance protection of their PCs.

References

Rains, T. (2017). Ransomware: Understanding the Risk. Microsoft Secure Blog. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://blogs.microsoft.com/microsoftsecure/2016/04/22/ransomware-understanding-the-risk/

Security Intelligence. (2017). Growing Ransomware Risk Requires Stronger Security Controls. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://securityintelligence.com/news/growing-ransomware-risk-requires-stronger-security-controls/

Why SMBs are at high risk for ransomware attacks, and how they can protect themselves. (2017). TechRepublic. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-smbs-are-at-high-risk-for-ransomware-attacks-and-how-they-can-protect-themselves/

Crowe, J. (2017). What are Your Odds of Suffering a Ransomware Attack?. Blog.barkly.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://blog.barkly.com/risk-of-ransomware-attack

ERM Software.(2017).  8 Methods to Protect Against Ransomware Attacks. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.logicmanager.com/erm-software/2017/05/16/methods-protect-ransomware-attack/

Bailey, c. (2017). Cryptolocker (Ransomware) – What is it? What are the risks? What can I do? - Zenzero IT Solutions. Zenzero IT Solutions. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.zenzero.co.uk/cryptolocker-ransomware/

Ransomware Another Sign Of Security Challenges. (2017). Healthitoutcomes.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.healthitoutcomes.com/doc/ransomware-another-sign-of-security-challenges-0001

Malware Symptoms and Threats. (2017). Webroot.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.webroot.com/us/en/home/resources/articles/pc-security/malware

Solutions, C. (2017). Strategies for Preventing and Combating Ransomware. CybeRisk. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.cyberisk.biz/strategies-for-preventing-and-combating-ransomware/

Zetter, K., Zetter, K., Greenberg, A., Staff, W., Greenberg, A., & Newman, L. et al. (2017). 4 Ways to Protect Against the Very Real Threat of Ransomware. WIRED. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.wired.com/2016/05/4-ways-protect-ransomware-youre-target/

Team, O. (2017). What Is Ransomware And Why Do I Need To Know | Oakwood Blog. Oakwood Systems. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.oakwoodsys.com/ransomware-background-protection/

A History of Ransomware Attacks: The Biggest and Worst Ransomware Attacks of All Time. (2017). Digital Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://digitalguardian.com/blog/history-ransomware-attacks-biggest-and-worst-ransomware-attacks-all-time#4

7 Ransomware Trends to Watch for in 2017 | Recorded Future. (2017). Recorded Future. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.recordedfuture.com/ransomware-trends-2017/

Virus, malware, and threat descriptions - Windows Defender Security Intelligence. (2017). Microsoft.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wdsi/threats

Lerner, M., Tuttle, H., McDonald, C., & Tuttle, H. (2017). ransomware | Risk Management Monitor. Riskmanagementmonitor.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/tag/ransomware/

What is the Best Strategy for Dealing with Ransomware? – Capgemini Worldwide. (2017). Capgemini.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.capgemini.com/2016/06/what-is-the-best-strategy-for-dealing-with-ransomware/

Osborne, C. (2017). The biggest malware, security threats in 2013 | ZDNet. ZDNet. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-biggest-malware-security-threats-in-2013/

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