5 Ransomware Statistics Every Business Owner Needs to Know

While ransomware statistics in 2017 were alarming in terms of growth and severity of attacks, the cybersecurity industry has made great strides in defending against them. But despite our best efforts, the threat shows no signs of going away. If you think you’re not vulnerable, here are five stats that should serve as a reality check about your ransomware risk:

1. Ransomware types tripled in 2017

Symantec discovered 100 new malware families involved in encrypting malware last year. That’s three times the amount detected in 2016.

2. Ransomware messages are up 6,000%

The number of emails infected by ransom software went up 6,000 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to a review by IBM Security. That’s an astronomical number. Ransomware attackers hide their malware in common attachments like spreadsheets, text documents, invoices, faxes and so on. As these attacks grow more sophisticated, a lot of the red flags we look for in phishing attempts are harder to see or are no longer there.

3. Email Phishing was the #1 ransomware vehicle in 2017

Ransomware often targets individual PCs. Naturally, that means email is the most common method of attack. Research by IBM reveals that 59% of ransomware attacks originate with phishing emails and a remarkable 91% of all malware is delivered by email. According to email security provider Proofpoint, criminals are beginning to turn to other delivery methods due to the fact that users are becoming more aware of how to spot phishing emails.

4. The USA is the #1 ransomware target

While there’s been a 36% increase in global ransomware attacks from 2016 to 2017, the USA is the biggest target.

5. 11% more users encountered ransomware in 2017

The number of users who encountered this threat between 2016 and 2017 grew by 11.4% when compared to the same period between 2015 and 2016.

No industry is immune. Data shows that no sector is immune to ransomware attacks. Healthcare organizations continue to be high-profile victims but over 20% of organizations in the Education, IT/Telecoms, Entertainment/Media and Financial Services have been recently hit, as well. The average ransom demand now tops $1,000, which is more than 3x the average demand in 2015.

Something else to note, adding insult to injury, among those who have paid ransom demands, 20% never retrieved their files. Attackers walked away with the money. Some never intended to restore access to the victims’ files, others because they were amateurs and never had the technical ability to do so in the first place. Whether these companies retrieved their files or not, 72% of infected businesses lost access to data for two days or more. That’s a lot of lost revenue!

Our team here at BIS is here to help you make better-informed decisions about how to protect your organization from ransomware. Let us help make sure your business is secure.


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