For almost ten years now, businesses have been suffering financial losses and disruption from ransomware attacks. The first widely known and reported attack was in 2013, which locked businesses out of their digital assets and demanded anonymous bitcoin payments to regain access. The scene was set for ransomware to cause havoc for years to come. And it did.
As attacks increased in frequency and severity over time, the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 quickly escalated the risk. Organisations had to rapidly move to digital models, leaving them more vulnerable to cyber-crime, and in some cases possibly deprioritising cyber-security in favour of functionality to remain operational.
Businesses already dealing with and distracted by the challenges of COVID-19, now had the increased pressure of increased ransomware attack risk; cyber criminals had not failed to take advantage of the disruption caused by the pandemic..
Ransomware attacks – a fixed feature on the threat landscape
Even with the spectacular demise of ransomware actors such as REvil, there are plenty of others stepping in to fill the gap.
According to the National Cyber Security Centre’s 2021 annual review there were three times as many ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2021 than in the whole of 2019, and this acceleration is not due to slow down anytime soon.
Combined with the alarming Cybersecurty Ventures’ prediction of a 30% year on year growth in ransomware attacks, such that by 2031 ransomware will cost victims $265 billion annually, with a new attack every 2 seconds (the current figure, according to the organisation, is one attack every 11 seconds,) it is incumbent on every business to build and maintain appropriate defences.
Holistic security assurance
As damaging as it can be, ransomware is just one of many cyber security risks faced by businesses of every size. Those firms without security professionals on their payroll may be particularly at risk. We believe businesses need to see and understand their holistic security risks before they can take meaningful action.
Kloudwerk’s affordable consultancy packages identify key risks and help implement security improvements to optimise return on investment and reduce those risks. Visit our Cyber Consultancy page for more information