Learn about ransomware attacks and how to defend against them

By IBM Services

Impact of ransomware

Ransomware is malware used to blackmail victims by threatening to publish sensitive information or locking users out until a ransom is paid — often in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. IBM estimates ransomware attacks cost companies more than USD 8 billion globally in 2017.⁽¹⁾

Ransomware attacks are totally disruptive, affecting your business and your servers, and potentially spreading to your customers. Like all cyberattacks, they not only result in massive data and financial loss, but can result in:

  • Damage to brand and reputation
  • Erosion of customer loyalty
  • Theft of intellectual property
  • Loss of business
  • Regulatory penalties
  • Impaired security for your business—or governments and states
  • Increased potential for future attacks⁽⁵⁾


Countering ransomware attacks

IBM Services helps you cope with ransomware attacks and other critical security incidents and works to eradicate threats and otherwise minimize their impact to business. For example, after the Petya attacks, IBM Security® X-Force® released their Petya Advisory that provides an overview of Petya, as well as recommendations to help prevent such attacks including:

Ensure that all versions of Windows security patches are the most recent available. Ensure your anti-virus software and associated signature files are up-to-date. Disable the outdated network file sharing protocol Server Message Block version 1 (SMBv1) because some cyberattackers have exploited vulnerabilities in SMBv1. Isolate unpatched systems from the larger network.⁽⁷⁾

    Cyber resilience is an additional means for countering ransomware attacks. Cyber resilience uses data protection, disaster recovery, and business continuity and resiliency best practices. Combined with advanced technologies, cyber resilience helps to assess risks, protect applications and data, and recover rapidly during and after an attack.


    IBM Services can help

    IBM Business Resiliency Services® helps to protect your business from ransomware attacks and like cyberattacks. Along with several data protection and recovery strategies for responding to targeted and malicious attacks, Business Resiliency Services offers the following services to help you keep your business safe:

    • Cyber Resilience mitigates the impact of cyber disruption with an orchestrated resilience approach that helps identify risks, protect applications and data and rapidly recover IT.
    • Business Continuity Consulting Services prepares your business for critical service disruptions and improves your ability to recover from disruptive events.
    • Disaster Recovery minimizes risk and helps you to avoid costly incidents with business continuity and disaster recovery services.
    • Data Backup and Protection Services protects your data with flexible, fast, cloud-based backup and recovery.
    • Data Center Services designs and builds optimized, cost-effective data centers and facilities to achieve a lean, resilient and flexible infrastructure.
    • IBM Resiliency Orchestration orchestrates and simplifies your disaster recovery management to reduce risk and improve availability, efficiency and business confidence.

    IBM is your trusted partner in keeping your business safe. For more information about ransomware protection, as well as protection from malware and cyberattacks, schedule a one-on-one with a Business Resiliency expert at no cost. IBM Business Resiliency Services experts are here to help you get all of the answers that you need to move your business forward with confidence.


    1. A ‘Wiper’ in Ransomware Clothing: Global Attacks Intended for Destruction Versus Financial Gain, June 2017

    2. It’s Official: North Korea Is Behind WannaCry, Wall Street Journal, December 2018

    3. TSMC Chip Maker Blames WannaCry Malware for Production Halt, The Hacker News, August 2018

    4 Learn about cyber attacks and how to defend against them, IBM Services, October 2018

    5. Are you safe from ransomware attacks? IBM Security

    6. Petya (NotPetya) Ransomware Campaign, IBM X-Force Exchange, June 2017