Protecting Your Business from Ransomware Attacks

April 30, 2024

Jaco Dreyer and Ollie Rayburn

The threat of ransomware looms larger than ever before. With news of ransomware attacks increasing in both numbers and scale, it’s crucial to protect your business by treating this threat as any other external business threat.

Let’s face it, unless you’re a security professional, understanding and incorporating ransomware threats into your business operations planning can be daunting. At OneCollab, we recognise the critical importance of safeguarding your business against ransomware attacks. As your trusted IT partner, we aim to ensure your organisation remains resilient in the face of evolving cyber security threats.

Our step-by-step guide outlines expert advice and guidance on protecting your business from ransomware attacks. We’ll delve into how it operates, and crucial strategies to prevent its infiltration into your personal and business devices.

Download your complimentary copy now to discover:

  • What are ransomware attacks and how are they delivered
  • Find out if you are a target
  • The impact of a successful attack
  • Potential benefits of partnering with a reputable cyber security firm
  • Essential measures to mitigate the risks associated with ransomware

Explore our guide to find all the answers to your questions about ransomware attacks and fortify your defences against this pervasive cyber threat. Download your free copy today!

Download your guide to ransomware attacks

Ransomware Attack Statistics

  • In 2023, 5,070 ransomware attacks were recorded, marking a 55% increase from 2022.
  • Reputation damage accounts for 20% of ransomware costs.
  • Surpassing $1 Billion in ransomware payments in 2023 marked an unprecedented milestone.

With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that vigilance against ransomware attacks is paramount for safeguarding your business’s assets and reputation.

What is a Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware, a type of malware, is engineered to block access to your device and its data, often by encrypting files. Attackers demand a ransom for decryption, threatening to leak stolen data if not paid.

In many cases, the ransom demand comes with a deadline. If the victim doesn’t pay in time, the data is gone forever, released or the ransom increases.

Examples of Ransomware Attacks

LockBit Attack on Royal Mail, January 2023

In January 2023, the LockBit group targeted Royal Mail, causing chaos in international mail delivery. The attack crippled crucial services like the parcel tracking website and online payment system. Printers at the Royal Mail distribution center in Northern Ireland churned out copies of LockBit’s orange ransom note. Despite threats to post stolen data online, Royal Mail refused to pay the ransom, leading to the publication of the data.

Clop Group Attack Through Vulnerability in MOVEit Transfer, June 2023

In June, the notorious Clop group, known for its February attacks on Fortra GoAnywhere MFT, exploited a vulnerability in Progress Software’s MOVEit Transfer. Despite Progress fixing the vulnerability (CVE-2023-34362) by May’s end, not all clients applied the patches promptly. This attack, one of the year’s largest incidents, targeted various organizations, including oil giant Shell and the BBC.

Am I Target for Ransomware Attacks?

No sector or business size is immune to the reach of ransomware, with vulnerabilities lurking even in the most fortified environments. The likelihood of successful attacks varies, influenced by factors such as technological infrastructure, security measures, and overall cyber security maturity.

News headlines underscore the indiscriminate nature of these assaults, targeting organisations across diverse sectors, from healthcare and finance to aviation. Yet, attackers often select their targets based on two key factors: opportunity and potential financial gain.

Organisations with limited security resources and file-sharing user bases may present attractive opportunities, while those with urgent file access needs or sensitive data may be more inclined to pay ransoms swiftly to mitigate damage and preserve reputation.

Furthermore, proactive measures are essential in mitigating the risk of ransomware attacks. By adopting a comprehensive cyber security strategy, organisations can bolster their resilience and minimise the impact of potential cyber attacks.

Should I pay The Ransom?

At the forefront of business risks looms the ominous threat of ransomware attacks. These insidious assaults wield the power to encrypt critical data, paralysing entire computer systems and, in extreme cases, sealing the fate of businesses indefinitely.

Amidst the weight of such perilous circumstances, businesses grapple with a daunting decision: whether to succumb to hackers’ demands and offer a ransom payment in exchange for data decryption.

Yet, in the vast majority of scenarios, the resounding answer remains a steadfast “no.”

Businesses are strongly urged to resist the temptation of ransom payments unless they find themselves devoid of any viable lifelines for survival.

How Do Ransomware Attacks Work?

Understanding how attackers breached your network is crucial for preventing future ransomware assaults.

Access: Cyber attackers infiltrate your network, seizing control and implanting malicious encryption software. They may also pilfer copies of your data, leveraging it as leverage for extortion.

Activation: The malware springs into action, locking devices and encrypting data across the network, rendering it inaccessible.

Ransom Demand: You’ll typically receive an on-screen notification from the cybercriminal, detailing the ransom and instructions for payment to regain access to your data or unlock your computer. Payments are usually demanded through anonymous web pages and in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

How Is Ransomware Delivered?

Ransomware attacks persist as a pervasive cyber threat, underscoring the need to understand how to defend against them. Here are six common delivery methods:


Phishing emails serve as a prevalent avenue for ransomware infections, tricking victims into disclosing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links or attachments. Once clicked, ransomware swiftly infiltrates the victim’s device.

Drive-by Downloads

Malicious software can be unwittingly installed on a victim’s device through drive-by downloads, requiring no action from the victim beyond visiting a compromised website. Exploiting unpatched security vulnerabilities, these downloads infect devices silently.

Exploit Kits

Cybercriminals utilise exploit kits, seeking out unpatched security vulnerabilities to streamline malware distribution. By luring users to their landing pages through malvertisements or spoofed websites, exploit kits identify and exploit vulnerabilities to infect devices.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Exploits

While Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) facilitates remote computer connections, it becomes a vulnerability when weak credentials are employed. Cybercriminals exploit such weaknesses to manipulate systems, encrypt files, and demand ransom payments for access restoration.

Malicious Software and Downloads

Cybercriminals often host websites offering free downloads of software, apps, and movies, enticing users to unknowingly infect their devices with malware, including ransomware. Caution should be exercised, and downloads should be sourced from reputable platforms.

USBs and Removable Media

Ransomware can also infiltrate devices through removable media like USBs and external hard drives. Users should exercise caution, keeping removable media secure and refraining from plugging potentially compromised devices into their systems.

Top 3 Ransomware Families


LockBit3 operates under a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) model and appeared around September 2019. This ransomware primarily targets large enterprises and government entities across multiple countries. Interestingly, it avoids targeting individuals in Russia and nearby countries.


The 8Base group has been around since at least March 2022 but became more famous in mid-2023 for being extra active. They use different kinds of ransomware, with one called Phobos being quite popular. What’s notable about them is how they use advanced techniques and double extortion tactics.


Akira Ransomware showed up at the start of 2023 and doesn’t pick sides between Windows and Linux computers. It spreads through things like infected emails or flaws in virtual private networks (VPNs). When it infects a computer, it scrambles up files and adds a “.akira” tag to their names. Then it asks for money to unscramble them.

Consequences of a Successful Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attacks have far-reaching consequences that extend beyond the immediate loss of data or system. The ramifications of these attacks are profound and wide-ranging, impacting individuals, businesses, and even entire communities.

Here are some common consequences of ransomware attacks:

  • Ransom Payment: Ransom demands often reach staggering sums, yet even compliance offers no assurance of receiving the decryption key.
  • Data Breach: The exposure of personal or sensitive information could result in privacy breaches and potential legal consequences.
  • Downtime Costs: Businesses often grapple with substantial downtime during and after a ransomware attack. This downtime translates to lost productivity, revenue, and potential contractual penalties.
  • Recovery Costs: Restoring operations post-attack entails more than just paying the ransom. Businesses must invest in rebuilding and securing their systems, conducting forensic analyses, and implementing enhanced cyber security measures. These recovery costs can be substantial.
  • Reputational Damage: The impact of a ransomware attack extends beyond immediate financial and operational consequences. Businesses may suffer long-term damage to their reputation and trust among customers, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Legal Consequences: Data breaches resulting from ransomware attacks may trigger legal repercussions and regulatory penalties. Businesses that fail to protect sensitive information may face legal action and fines under data protection laws.

Best Practices for Preventing Ransomware Attacks

Thankfully, numerous strategies exist to prevent against ransomware attacks. As technology evolves, adhering to fundamental cyber security practices and maintaining vigilance is key to safeguarding yourself and your business.

  • Employee Training: Educate employees on identifying phishing emails, suspicious links, and the importance of refraining from downloading unknown attachments.
  • Back-Ups: Follow the 3-2-1 rule for data backup, ensuring three copies of data in two different locations (e.g., cloud, device, USB), with one copy stored off-site for disaster recovery.
  • Software Updates: Regularly update software to install the latest patches, preventing exploitation of system vulnerabilities by cyber attackers.
  • Access Control: Employ robust access management to limit unauthorised access, thereby reducing potential entry points for ransomware.
  • Email Security: Utilise email security measures to block malicious executables, spam, phishing attempts, and other common email-based ransomware attacks.
  • Anti-Virus: Deploy comprehensive anti-virus and anti-malware software to scan for, detect, and respond to cyber threats effectively.
  • Firewalls: Utilise firewalls as the first line of defence against external attacks, protecting against both software and hardware-based threats.
  • Network Segmentation: Divide your network into logical segments to enable isolation in the event of a ransomware attack.
  • Regular Security Testing: Continuously conduct cyber security vulnerability assessments to adapt to evolving ransomware tactics and enhance security measures.
  • Dark Web Monitoring: Stay ahead of potential threats by monitoring the dark web for any signs of compromised credentials belonging to your organisation.

Working with a Cyber Security Firm to Protect Ransomware Attacks

Protecting against ransomware attacks is increasingly challenging due to the surge in sophisticated techniques. In-house IT teams often lack the expertise and resources to effectively address all threats. A reputable cyber security firm offers invaluable assistance in mitigating threats and defending against ransomware attacks.

How We Can Help

Expertise: Our specialised cyber expertise bridges your skills gap and remains ahead of evolving threats and new ransomware techniques.

Bespoke Solutions: We provide customised security solutions tailored to your specific needs, reducing the exposure of business data and maximising protection against potential threats, even in the face of evolving cyber risks.

24/7 Monitoring and Support: Our solutions continuously monitor your network activities, promptly isolating any attacks to swiftly contain damage.

Proactive Threat Prevention and Detection: Our proactive approach employs advanced technologies to anticipate and neutralise ransomware threats before they compromise your network, ensuring continuous security.

Recovery Plans: We offer comprehensive backup and recovery plans to minimise the impact of data loss and downtime.

Employee Training: Our employee training programmes ensure all staff members adhere to your security policy and understand how to prevent ransomware attacks.


Businesses can sometimes adopt a dismissive attitude towards cyber security, reasoning, “No one wants my data, so why would anyone bother hacking me?” However, this perspective overlooks the current cyber security landscape, especially concerning ransomware. It’s crucial to take a more proactive approach! While you may underestimate the value of your data, hackers are indifferent to its intrinsic worth. Simply possessing and relying on data makes it valuable to both them and you.

Ultimately, the most effective strategy for dealing with ransomware attacks is prevention. The average cost of a ransomware attack is around £4.54 million, with recovery costs averaging £1.85 million. Isn’t it worth investing in proactive measures to ensure robust protection for your business, avoiding potential operational downtime, reputation damage, and customer dissatisfaction caused by hackers and ransomware?

Ready to enhance your company’s cyber security and protect against ransomware attacks? Book a consultation at [email protected] for tailored advice and minimise vulnerabilities.

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