The Threat of Ransomware and How to Prevent It

27 March, 2023

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that encrypts a victim’s data, making it inaccessible and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. The attackers typically threaten to delete or permanently lock the data if the ransom is not paid within a specific timeframe.

Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails or exploiting weaknesses in software or operating systems. Once it infiltrates a system, it can spread quickly throughout the network and affect other connected devices.

This issue is a major problem these days and it’s only getting worse. Bad guys are creating malware that’s super sneaky and can spread like wildfire. They’re also getting smarter and targeting big-time victims who have to pay up big time.


Image generated with Midjourney AI


What are the Consequences of getting hit by Ransomware?

Examples of Ransomware “infection” are several, attacks can have serious consequences for both individuals and organizations, including financial losses, data breaches and damage to reputation. To prevent ransomware attacks, it is important to frequently back up important data, keep software and operating systems up-to-date and exercise caution when opening emails or clicking on links from unknown sources.


What do I do if I am affected?

If you get hit with ransomware, you’re in big trouble. You could lose all your data, your system could be out of commission for a while and your reputation could take a major hit. Some people might even pay the ransom just to get their stuff back, but that’s not a good idea because it just encourages the hackers to keep doing it.

If your business is affected by it; this occurrence can disrupt business operations, leading to downtime, lost productivity and revenue loss.
You may also face legal consequences; Depending on the type of data that was compromised, an individual or organization may face legal consequences for failing to adequately protect sensitive information.
Lastly, responding to a ransomware attack can result in additional costs, such as hiring cybersecurity experts, implementing new security measures and investing in data recovery solutions.


Why did this happen to begin with?

There are some things you should consider after a similar occurrence…

Here are some steps you can take to learn from a ransomware attack and prevent future attacks through routines:

  • Understand how the ransomware was able to infiltrate your system, such as through a phishing email or unpatched software.
  • Evaluate your current security measures and consider implementing additional security measures, such as anti-virus software and data backup and recovery plans.
  • Develop a response plan that outlines the steps to isolate infected systems, notify key stakeholders and restore data from backups.
  • Train employees and other stakeholders on how to identify and avoid common ransomware tactics, such as phishing emails.
  • Regularly test your response plan through simulations and other scenarios to ensure it is effective and up-to-date.
  • Compartmentalize your infrastructure. By separating systems from each other you can reduce the potential impact as it is harder for malicious actor to spread in between the systems.
  • Apply the principle of least privilege. Minimize the access people have and avoid having accounts with lots of privileges, because these account will be targeted.
  • Have strong multi factor authentication systems for the important accounts.

Taking these steps can save you from significant stress and potential losses.


Protect from Ransomware
Image generated with Midjourney AI


How do I avoid this to begin with?

To keep your stuff safe from ransomware, you’ve got to be on your game. That means backing up your data all the time, keeping your antivirus software updated and being super careful about clicking on stuff in your email or online. You should also have a plan in case you get hit with ransomware as well.

There are a lot of things to keep track of, but fortunately there are also tools to help you do so. Let us introduce SAMM and SAMMY.


Protect Your Software with SAMMY

If you build application, be it for yourselves or for your customers there are a lot of things you need to keep track of in cyber defence. This can seem daunting as you need to win all the battles, if the bad guys win one battle they con be in your systems and infect you and your customers. Fortunately there are some tools to keep track of the battle map.

OWASP SAMM is designed to assist organizations in evaluating, measuring and enhancing their software security position. It offers a structured and replicable method for developing and executing a comprehensive software security program that considers an organization’s individual business goals, risk profile and available resources.

SAMMY is a tool developed to reduce the complexity of SAMM implementation in organizations. SAMMY adopts an approach that starts with small and quick wins, gradually expanding as there is more buy-in from users.

Core Concepts

SAMMY introduces the following conceptual features to streamline the SAMM process:

  • Separating SAMM per stream into independent processes
  • Assigning ownership throughout the process
  • Limiting the SAMM scope based on progress and weights
  • Supporting documentation and evidence for each stream and maturity level

Our SAMM workflow aligns with the official OWASP SAMM model, but it is more elaborate. After a SAMM assessment, each stream may pass through an optional validation stage, resulting in an improvement or complete state.



In conclusion, ransomware poses a growing threat to businesses, leading to financial losses, data breaches and reputational damage. In case of a ransomware attack having a response plan and restoring data from backups is critical. Utilizing tools like OWASP SAMM and SAMMY can help manage software security and streamline implementation. Taking proactive measures and implementing security protocols can save businesses from potential losses due to ransomware attacks.

Read here on how to manage your security posture with SAMMY:
Find more information about SAMMY here:
Find more information about OWASP SAMM here:



Leo is a Market Analyst at Codific. He is currently doing his Bachelor's degree in International Business Management at the Geneva Business School where he is consistently top of class. Leo writes about topics ranging from patient centered care to data protection strategies.

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