Ransomware has been around for more than a decade. However, it has transformed into a potent cyber threat in the last couple of years. And even in the last two years, 2017 is considered more deadly in terms of the scale and losses pertaining to ransomware attacks. In the previous year, it felt as if cryptovirological operators had unleashed a cyber monster. In the middle of the year, subsequent large-scale ransomware attacks rattled the digital landscape.
Moreover, many ransomware attacks in 2017 were high profile and thus got more traction in the news. The FBI estimated that in the United States the total extortion payments for ransomware removal have exceeded the mark of 1 billion dollars. Many experts believe that this figure had already been crossed during the last year.
In comparison, 2018 was relatively a calmer year. Ransomware attacks have continued to affect users. However, the damages and scales are not unprecedented with the exception of the lockdown of Atlanta’s municipal system.
The Next Ransomware Wave
Robert Ackerman is a founder and MD of a cybersecurity firm and data center. He thinks that ransomware attacks might bounce back in the next year to the same extent as of 2017. Ackerman strongly believes that cryptovirological activity comes in spurts and the next one is due in 2019.
Ackerman’s assertion can’t be dismissed as a personal opinion. There is some credence to his prediction. For instance, ransomware activity hasn’t halted for a moment in the last 18 months. Just about every day we talk about new cryptovirological malware discoveries in this section. So, it won’t come as a surprise if the developers come up with something as lethal as WannaCry or NotPetya again. Businesses should heed Ackerman’s prediction and must invest in data backups and ransomware removal expertise.