There are various ways ransomware can spread throughout your organization, including:
1. Compromised Credentials
The easiest and fastest way for threat actors to penetrate your network is to use compromised credentials. With credentials easily available on the Dark Web or through Network Access Brokers (also known as Initial Access Brokers), threat actors can quickly impersonate an authorized user and gain access to critical systems and data.
2. Email Attachments
Ransomware can begin with phishing emails. Attackers may extensively research your employees and executives’ information available on the Surface, Deep, and Dark Web, as well as Social Media to build a credible-looking email that your staff members will feel compelled to open.
These phishing emails can contain malicious attachments. Once you open the attachment, the ransomware can encrypt your files.
3. Drive-by Downloading
A user visits an infected website, which triggers the download of malware without the user’s knowledge and does not require any human interaction. An employee simply needs to visit an infected site and the ransomware is injected into their devices.
4. Malicious Links
Malicious links may be embedded in phishing emails or smishing texts, compromised websites, and/or malicious social media profiles. These links are often accompanied by an urgent message, which encourages users to click on them. Once the user clicks on the link, ransomware is downloaded.
In malvertising, ransomware attackers purchase ad space on legitimate high-traffic websites. They then list ads that entice users to click on them. The ads are connected to an exploit kit, which target unpatched vulnerabilities on a device or application.