Ransomware threatening businesses around the world

ransomware hacker threatening businesses

Ransomware has become an increasingly difficult and frustrating issue for cybersecurity experts to combat. With growing sophistication and the development of ransomware groups threatening businesses worldwide, ransomware is becoming a trade for cybercriminals. This shocking reality draws us to reiterate the importance of businesses educating themselves on real-time developments. So, despite the existing potential for attack, knowledgeable organisations can enable better preparation and defence.

All in all, it is harder than ever before to evade the impact of ransomware attacks. That’s exactly why we feel it is essential that all types of businesses – particularly those based in major cities – are aware of the current trends in malware. So, here we focus on ransomware to help you understand how it invades, what the current trends are, and how we see it developing. Once you learn the inner workings, you can leverage our information to protect your business through preventative care.

Common Ransomware in 2024

Like viruses, ransomware continually evolve into new malicious strains, aiming to decrypt and expose sensitive data. And now, not only do these cybercriminals steal and lock away valuable information, but they threaten to air it publicly unless the ransom is paid.

For your business, ransomware threats can be severely debilitating, not only for operations, but for your reputation too. Revenues are halted and services brought to a standstill, whilst customers are losing their trust in you. Subsequently, how you respond to the incident will impact any future prosperity and continued loyalties to your business.

So, as these attack trends adapt to security updates and new protections, it is imperative that your business is aware of how they function.

From the range of malware targeting businesses, there are currently a few ransomwares which pose the greatest threat. Below are listed some of the most dangerous ransomware you should look out for in 2024:

Crypto ransomware

Simply put, crypto ransomware is where your files are encrypted, and a ransom is demanded for the key. The attacker will leave some kind of note with instructions to follow to restore the files. Sometimes attackers may target specific sensitive data or lock away entire parts of your device. Common attack vectors include phishing emails, malware-ridden sites, trojan horses and more. In addition, payments are requested in cryptocurrency to avoid real-world identification.


This uses social engineering to convince you that your device has a virus. Typically, this will appear in the form of an ad to scare you into purchasing software and resolve it. Downloading this software is essentially exposing your device to damaging ransomware and potentially other malware on dodgy sites.

Locker ransomware

Unlike crypto, locker ransomware does not use encryption to hide away your data. Instead, this malicious tactic prevents you from using your device entirely, demanding a ransom to restore access. These often occur from trojans or ‘malvertising’, where hackers inject code into ad networks online.

Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) Threatening Businesses Globally

In addition to these circulating ransomwares, a new side of the dark web has introduced ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). Essentially, ransomware has developed into a business model alike software-as-a-service (SaaS), where cybercriminals create malicious software to sell to affiliates. Later, the threat actors will share a portion of their ransom money with the developers. Often, RaaS operates much like a legitimate service, with cybercriminals offering subscriptions and tiered pricing models. However, in this instance the exchange is ultimately illegal, encouraging growth in the cybercriminal trade.

This activity widens the scope for dangerous attacks as it gives less skilled hackers the opportunity to leverage sophisticated code. Overall, the rise of RaaS has significantly increased the risk of ransomware threatening organisations, given the bait is distributed into more criminal hands.

Nevertheless, governments and intelligence agencies have made significant advancements in identifying ransomware groups and cybercriminal operators. For example, as of May 2024, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and other officials took control of the LockBit site. The international cybercrime group LockBit had undertaken over 7,000 attacks on organisations between June 2022 and February 2024. This included the infamous 2023 ransomware attack on Royal Mail bringing their global operations to a standstill.

London as a Top Target for Ransomware Threats

London is a highly interconnected business capital and powerhouse of innovation, home to many global companies. As such, cybersecurity has never been more important to all kinds of businesses operating in London. So, why is London one of the most targeted cities for ransomware?

Here we uncover a few reasons why London remains a major victim of ransomware threats:

Rich data

Where data was once physical, the digital has taken over. This means a high volume of sensitive public data is held within London platforms, leading to a higher risk of breaches. As London businesses typically rely on their reputation to succeed, they are also more vulnerable to double extortion ransomware. This is where hackers threaten to release sensitive data, such as customers’ credit card details, addresses and phone numbers. Where data is also deemed valuable, ransom demands increase, making London businesses even more tempting to cybercriminals.

Financial institutions

Some of the world’s largest banks, firms and most esteemed institutions are based in London. In the event of a ransomware incident, a financial institution may be more likely to pay fees to regain data access. This gives hackers more opportunity for large payouts if they can bypass cybersecurity protections.

Business density

London is not only an international hub, but where many businesses choose to start their journey. So, in addition to large corporations, many small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) and growing start-ups run in the capital. And, due to limited resources, startups and SMEs often lack the necessary cybersecurity protections and awareness training to mitigate attacks. In fact, as of 2023, one in four UK SMEs had become victims of ransomware, making them a soft target for hackers.

Key infrastructure

Many London organisations own and control important infrastructure which if breached, could cause major disruption in transportation and communications. Therefore, the pressure would be greater on these London companies and the authorities to pay the ransoms.

Enterprises Under the Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware can threaten all kinds of organisations, however, the key targets are often hospitals. Ultimately, a major hospital breach can quickly become a real life and death situation. Plus, if employees are unable to access data such as patient files, or sensitive information is stolen, chaos can ensue.

For example, diagnostic machines could be non-functional or surgical room lights shut off. In this scenario, immediate action is crucial to ensure patients are safe and a duty of care is upheld. As a result, the hospital is more likely to pay the ransom, making them more appealing to an attacker.

Multinational companies are also a key target for ransomware as hackers may threaten to release stolen information to competitors. Often, it is assumed that multinational corporations will be able to afford to pay to minimise downtime, meaning the attack will be worth a large sum.

Protect your Business against Ransomware

When it comes to protecting yourself from ransomware, we believe that prevention is always better than the cure. At a minimum, you should be following security compliance and industry regulations. Start by making sure that all your devices are up to date with the latest software and OS upgrades. It may not save you from severe attacks, but it will help keep information safe on your remote devices.

To ensure your devices are secure and in optimal condition, seek reliable London IT services. With unrivalled helpdesk support and robust security solutions, totality services deliver leading IT support for London businesses to rely on. We are not simply an IT support company; we are your go-to IT partner providing end-to-end management and scaling of your infrastructure.

So, if you would like to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at totality services today!