The “as a service” model has become increasingly common over the past decade, especially with software. Rather than paying a large upfront sum for ownership of a program, software as a service (SaaS) provides continued access in exchange for smaller recurring payments. Not only is SaaS more affordable, it’s easier to scale and update.  

These same benefits extend to other “as a service” models, such as disaster recovery as a service. Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this product model. As digital threats that have grown under COVID-19, more and more businesses are being targeted by ransomware as a service (RaaS). 

Understanding Ransomware and RaaS 

Ransomware is one of the most popular methods of malware attacks, as it can be very lucrative for hackers. It works by locking someone out of their own systemA ransom is then demanded in exchange for returning access. Though there’s no guarantee the hacker will provide access once the money has been paid, victims have limited options. Ransomware uses sophisticated encryption that’s usually impossible to break. 

Without proper contingencies or backups, the only hope of retrieving your data is to pay the ransom. 

In fact, ransomware is so effective that hackers have begun licensing it out, creating a model known as ransomware as a service (RaaS)By paying a fee, a person with limited technical knowledge can unleash a complex ransomware attack on unsuspecting businesses. 

More sophisticated RaaS programs operate just like modern software, providing access to a dashboard, customer support, and more. Some RaaS models utilize a monthly subscription model, while others take a percentage of the payouts their users receive. Think of it as a multi-level marketing (MLM) strategy or pyramid scheme for hackers. 

The rise of RaaS has only increased the volume of ransomware attacks, specifically those targeting small businesses. 

Protecting Against Ransomware and RaaS 

Most ransomware is distributed through phishing schemesMulti-factor authentication and employee education can help protect your business, but they aren’t enough. Ongoing monitoring, proper filtering, scheduled updates, and automated backups are all crucial in protecting your business from ransomware.   

The average cost of a ransomware payment is $178,254, and your data may be deleted even if you pay it. With the increased exposure businesses are facing as employees work remotely, it’s critical that you keep your data protected. Expedient Technology Solutions can help with that. 

We provide customizable Stress-Free IT® services that allow you to focus on your business during these ever-changing times. For managed IT, disaster recovery, and cybersecurity in Dayton, Ohio and beyond, contact Expedient Technology Solutions today! 

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