The past few months have seen ransomware quickly evolve to a place of ingenious sophistication, rampant greed, indifferent destruction, and the sad loss of life.

Your organization should be laser focused on stopping ransomware from ever taking hold. This warning comes as we watch cybercriminal gangs take the simple “encrypted data held for ransom” game to new levels I never though I’d see.

Ransomware attacks have increased in frequency seven-foldextortion is now a part of nearly every attack to ensure prompt payment, and seeing ransoms in the millions is now, well… not uncommon. In fact, we’ve seen a ransom as high as $34 million already.

And in September, the world of ransomware experienced its’ first ever death. If anything is a signal to lay off attacks on healthcare, that was it. And yet, healthcare remains a ransomware target.

In some ways, it feels like we’re losing the battle.

What’s needed is for all organizations – including healthcare – to look at the root causes of why ransomware attacks are successful. When it comes down to it, it’s users that are needed as part of the attack – users that engage in unscrupulous phishing attacks. This is something that can easily be avoided – with the right education. Organizations who put their users through Security Awareness Training add the user to the layered security strategy, allowing for the user themselves to act as the last line of defense against these increasingly menacing ransomware attacks.

I fear it’s only going to get worse, but it can get better if users work in concert with your cybersecurity strategy. And they can only do that if you train them how to.