Hyve logo

Discuss your hosting requirements with us today

What is Ransomware-as-a-Service?

Ransomware is a constantly evolving threat that the world of business faces. Unfortunately, the use of ransomware is not likely to decrease anytime soon. While we have become conscious of the disruptive and dangerous nature of ransomware attacks, a niche service has surfaced in recent years – Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). But what exactly is it?

Hyve Managed Hosting

featured image

What is ransomware?

Before we explore what Ransomware-as-a-Service is, how it works and ultimately how you can protect your business from malicious actors, we need to understand what ransomware is. 

The world of business has become increasingly accustomed to the growing threat of ransomware attacks. Put simply, ransomware is a piece of malware (code) that when successfully planted on a device, employs encryption to hold that user’s information for ransom. Once the malware encrypts data, the user cannot access the relevant files, databases, or applications.

Ransomware attacks have been increasing year-on-year, with a cyber-threat report showing an increase of 84% from 2022 to 2023.

What is Ransomware-as-a-Service?

Unfortunately, it’s just as sinister as it sounds.

Ransomware-as-a-Service is the offering of pay-for-use malware which is available to buy and implement by anyone with any level of technical knowledge. In a bid to try and scale the reward whilst reducing the risk from traditional ransomware attacks, the creator of the malware makes the software available to affiliates who are able to utilize it to hold people’s data hostage.

How does Ransomware-as-a-Service work?

While the complexity behind the actual malware may be complicated, RaaS is effectively like any other form of software as a service model that we have all become well accustomed to, such as  Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service, Backup-as-a-Service, or Desktop-as-a-Service; RaaS simply has different intentions. 

Where a business may go to a managed service provider for a traditional software as a service product, Ransomware-as-a-Service effectively uses a similar model. A customer will go to a provider, or the original developer, who will not only create and implement the actual ‘product’ but will also provide the back-end infrastructure for the running, ongoing maintenance and updates of the project. In some circumstances, RaaS operators will also handle the management of payments and also provide the decryption keys to victims who pay the ransom.

The way a RaaS operator works differs on the model of service provided. Similar to a SaaS model, the majority of RaaS providers will offer users a subscription-based approach or a one-time fee. Apart from the ethical difference between traditional SaaS offerings and RaaS, a key distinction is the affiliate operations of Ransomware-as-a-Service. In this scenario, a RaaS operator may take a predetermined percentage of each ransom payout gained through their service. 

How can you protect yourself against a Ransomware-as-a-Service attack?

It is imperative you protect your business from a range of cybersecurity attacks and not just focus on ransomware, but here are some methods you can implement to make sure your business is protected:

  • Backup your data: Ransomware is so effective when it renders a business unable to work due to the encryption of mission-critical data or applications. If an organization consistently backs up its data, the impact of an attack can be significantly reduced. 
  • Employee awareness: The introduction of malware onto a device or a system will often be introduced through phishing attempts. A simple way to protect your business is to raise awareness of the latest signs of phishing attempts, suspicious domains and what to do. 
  • DNS filtering: Ransomware often operates through some form of communication with a command and control server. Utilizing a DNS filtering service, it is possible for an organization to identify when an operator is trying to communicate with the malware and then block that channel. 
  • Update your software: Whether it is your CMS platform or a cloud-based database, old versions of applications can be a gateway for malicious actors to gain access or harm your IT infrastructure. To make sure this doesn’t happen, software providers are constantly adding new security features and patches for users to update their systems.

To view our range of security solutions, visit our security page.

Are you looking for some guidance with your cybersecurity or cloud strategy? Get in touch with our experts for an initial consultation- fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.

Get cloud insights to your inbox

Email icon
Alert icon
check circle

By submitting your email, you consent to the processing of your personal data for the purposes of receiving Inbox Insights emails. View our privacy policy for full details.

Discover our Security Services

Security services are one of the most important investments for your business. Whatever your needs, ...

Find out more

Insights related to Blog

Cloud Migration Hub
Read our insight
The Overlooked Ways a Managed Service Provider Supports Your Business
Read our insight
telephone
Background image

Get in touch

Alert icon
check circle
Alert icon
check circle
Alert icon
check circle
Email icon
Alert icon
check circle
Lock icon

We don't send spam to our users

Alert icon
check circle

0 of 4000 max characters

telephone