Evaluate the effectiveness of built-in features to reduce the impact of ransomware

Gooch, A. (2017). Evaluate the effectiveness of built-in features to reduce the impact of ransomware (MSc Adv Security & Digital Forensics Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Macfarlane, R.).


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Abstract

Ransomware continues to grow in both tenacity and scale. May 2017 saw one of the largest ransomware attacks of recent times, WannaCry. Infecting over 7000 systems in just one day and bringing several NHS trusts to a standstill. Ransomware is not a new concept, it has been around since 1989 but still continues to plague the world of information technology 28 years later.
The expanse of ransomware is quickly overtaking other cyber crimes as it is often quoted as being a perfect business model. Ransomware-as-a-Service is widely available on the dark web and now the open public web. Fully customisable and with all the latest encryption standards it is accessible to cyber criminals no matter how much technical knowledge they have. Even the cyber criminal on a budget can user the open source version. The adaptability of ransomware means it can be delivered to the victim in a multitude of different ways. From classic phishing and web exploits to targeted social media-based social engineering attacks.
Vast amounts of research have been conducted in an attempt to create the perfect solution to put a stop to ransomware. Uncovered in the literature review is a lack in the adoption of basic freely available built-in features to reduce the impact of ransomware.
With clear positive experimental evidence these built-in features demonstrate their effectiveness against even the latest ransomware sample. Also uncovered is the need for a user-orientated strategy to go hand in hand with a layered technical approach.
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Areas of Expertise

Cyber-Security
Electronic information now plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. So the need for a secure and trustworthy online infrastructure is more important than ever. without it, not only the growth of the internet but our personal interactions and the economy itself could be at risk.

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