Ransomware attacks increase tenfold: GBS recommends technological security measures and threat awareness

Karlsruhe, Germany

Between October 2015 and February of this year, the occurrence of encryption-based ransomware attacks on corporate networks has significantly increased. In Germany alone, the number of ransomware viruses has increased tenfold. The email experts at GROUP Business Software Europe GmbH (GBS) are raising awareness regarding this problem, by drawing on information from the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

“The threat situation is quite severe. Ransomware, such as Locky, TeslaCrypt and most recently Petya, is spreading despite comprehensive media coverage and efforts on part of the media to raise consciousness, because it is camouflaged very well. Even experienced users cannot always recognize at first glance whether or not they are experiencing an attack“, cautions Andreas Richter, GBS’ EVP Marketing & Product Management. One of the problems is that through the simulation of a trustworthy sender or legitimate subject, staff members are deceived into opening malware-infected email attachments, or to click infected links, which enables malware to enter the company. There, they encrypt business data to extort ransoms for their release.

Ransomware, also camouflaged as macro-viruses in Office files attached to emails, is currently on the rise. Once executed, it can cause a significant loss of data. “In light of these attacks, raising awareness among staff is not enough. Companies must also take the appropriate security measures, which should be employed centrally, in order to avoid burdening individual users with security measures“, adds the email expert.

Effective protection from ransomware starts with blocking suspicious file types and continues with the removal of potentially suspicious email content, as well as the conversion of emails to PDF format, which removes suspicious and infected content. “Also fundamentally important is a strategy that involves multiple scanners as an initial barrier for attackers. Every minute, a new virus is developed. According to the IT association Bitkom, 350,000 new malware programs are developed each day. The simultaneous use of multiple anti-virus scanners with additional cloud recognition technology can help recognize and stop unknown attacks quickly and quite reliably“, says Andreas Richter.

In the past years, GBS has made great efforts to develop email solutions that are innovative and easy to operate. In order to further strengthen the security awareness among corporations, the provider of security solutions has published a free security guide. This guide explains the current threat status of encryption-based Trojans and offers concrete recommendations for action in case of an attack.

Against the backdrop of increased attacks involving phishing and Trojans, GBS is also continuously expanding the phishing protection of their email management software. The company announced the corresponding software release for the end of this May.

Find more information and your free guide here.

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