Network security engineers, we need your help. Kaspersky Lab has released a report named the IT Threat Evolution in Q1 2016 and names ransomware as the main threat to cybersecurity in the year 2016. According to their report, there was 459,970 known attempted malware attacks in the beginning of the year. Crypto ransomware attacks stood at 372,602 individual computers that had tried to illicit money from unsuspecting victims. 

2016 has only just got underway, but the first three months have already seen the same amount of cybersecurity events that just a few years ago would have seemed normal for a whole year. The main underlying trends remained the same, while there was signficant growth in trends related to traditional cybercrime, especially mobile threats and global ransomware epidemics.

- excerpt from IT Threat Evolution in Q1 2016

EIT Stock Image
Credit: Kaspersky Lab

The more worrying realization companies should come to is that if the future of industrial production is the Industrial Internet of Things - where their systems will be vulnerable to ransomware or cyber attacks -  measures need to be taken to protect themselves. The names to watch out for, according to Kaspersky are:

  • Teslacrypt
  • CTB-Locker
  • Cryptowall/Cryptodef
  • Cryakl
  • Scatter & Rakhni

Those are the most notorious crypto-families operating right now, infecting computers all over the world and causing some companies to fork out amounts of money to unlock all of their data files. 

Kaspersky says there have been 30 percent more ransomware attacks than last year and only in the first three months of the year. Security is becoming the name of the game and will be in the future boom of the Internet of Things revolution. 

ZDNet spoke to Aleks Gostev, chief security expert in Kaspersky's global research and analysis team. He says: "Once the ransomware gets into the users' system, there is almost no chance of getting rid of it without losing personal data. The demand to pay the ransom in bitcoins makes the payment process anonymous and almost untraceable which is very attractive for fraudsters. Another threatening trend is the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) business model where cybercriminals pay a fee for the propagation of malware or promise a percentage of the ransom paid by an infected user." 

EIT Stock Image
Credit: WIRED

Another company keeping a close eye on cybersecurity is Cisco. They have released a document named The Cisco Annual Security Report 2016. They have put the number of cybercrime business per year at $2.1 trillion. 

Computer Weekly has published a list of precautions a business/individual/corporation can take to avoid ransomware:

  • Backup and be ready
  • Keep a layered approach
  • Keep up to date
  • Check your privileges 
  • Prepare to deal with criminals 


The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.