According to research performed by TripWire the average ransomware payment due to bad actors taking control of proprietary company information has seen a 171% increase in 2020 and beyond as compared to previous years.
CNN states that in 2020 alone almost 2,400 local governments, health care facilities and and schools were victims of ransomware, with an average downtime of 21 days and average payment of $312,493.
Though having a technically sound network is of utmost importance, ransomware infiltrates businesses not because of the technical sophistication of the hacker, but rather the lack of technical sophistication of the end user who clicks on a spear-fishing attack unknowingly granting the hacker access to company systems.
Why are we seeing an increase in ransomware payments?
Many hackers are now using what is called a "double-extortion" model.
"In a case of double extortion, ransomware operators encrypt and steal data to further coerce a victim into paying a ransom. If the victim doesn’t pay the ransom, the ransomware operators then leak the data on a leak site or dark web domain, with the majority of leak sites hosted on the dark web. These hosting locations are created and managed by the ransomware operators. At least 16 different ransomware variants are now threatening to expose data or utilizing leak sites, and more variants will likely continue this trend,"states Graham Cluley in The Wire article from March 25, 2021.
This coupled with the fact that some insurance companies have stopped covering ransom demands in their policies and discontinued offering cyber coverage all together, should have companies concerned about what they are going to do to protect their businesses.
ThreatAdvice offers both cybersecurity education for company employees to provide the education they need to recognize cyberattacks and a virtual chief information security officer solution that serves as outsourced cybersecurity alternative for companies that don't have the expertise or bandwidth to ensure proper cybersecurity in-house.
Whatever security solution you choose, make sure they are thorough and effective. The threats aren't decreasing and the repercussions are higher than ever. Check out some of these disturbing ransomware stats below in our 2021 Cost of Ransomware Increasing infographic.