In 2022, ransomware will continue to harm businesses all over the world, with cybercriminals’ attack types and strategies evolving all the time. The increase in ransomware attacks on businesses means that businesses must be hypervigilant about cybercrimes and be aware of the growing trends that will accelerate throughout 2022 in preparing their defences against ransomware attacks.

“Cyber threats are one of the biggest concerns for companies globally. While the threat terrain is constantly shifting, businesses should equip themselves in understanding how threat actors think and have insight into emerging trends. This will enable businesses to stay ahead of the curve and defend more effectively,” says Riaan de Villiers, business analyst at LAWtrust.

The importance of having the correct data cannot be overstated. Security resources must be used in accordance with comprehensive threat intelligence data. The more a business understands about future ransomware groups and their tactics, the better prepared they will be.

According to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2022 – an annual survey and report that identifies the most relevant risks for businesses in the coming year – cyber threats are the biggest concern for companies globally in 2022, ranking as a top three threat in most countries surveyed.

The survey also shows that the top three business risks in most countries and regions surveyed, including South Africa, are cyber events, business disruption, and critical infrastructure blackouts. This is in light of the significant rise in ransomware attacks, which 57% of the survey respondents named as the top cyber threat for the coming year.

“Businesses should prioritise receiving guidance from their IT partners about installing modern data protection solutions that will detect, prevent and fortify ransomware attacks to ensure they are ransomware-proof,” adds de Villiers.

Here are the most common ransomware attacks that South African businesses can be faced with during the remainder of 2022:

* Crypto ransomware or encryptors: This is one of the most well-known and damaging variants of ransomware, which encrypts a system’s files and data, making them inaccessible without a decryption key.

* Lockers: Users are locked out of their computers without access to their files and applications. Once this happens, a ransom demand is shown on a lock screen, sometimes with a countdown clock to heighten urgency and encourage victims to act.

* Petya: This ransomware encrypts important files that the computer needs to function and makes the operating system unbootable. These files will be withheld until the ransom is paid.

* Ryuk: This type of ransomware encrypts important business files and demands a big ransom, targeting businesses, hospitals, and government entities.

* Doxware or leakware: Threatens to expose critical personal or company information online, forcing many people to pay the ransom in fear of having their private information shared publicly.

With ransomware assaults on the rise in 2022, businesses should implement a cyber incident response team and have recovery procedures in place. They should also secure themselves and their staff by implementing prevention-based solutions to combat the latest ransomware threats,” de Villiers says.