Ransomware attacks ‘surge by 64%’

Ransomware attacks have increased by 64 per cent in the past year, according to new research.

A study from digital security company Barracuda Networks identified 121 incidents of ransomware over the past 12 months, from August 2020 to July 2021, and examined the attack patterns and trends that have emerged.

The data revealed that the majority of attacks took place between August 2020 and July 2021 – 40 per cent this year, compared to just 14 per cent in the year prior.

Education was the target of 13 per cent of ransomware attacks, a slight decrease from the 15 per cent recorded in 2020, and healthcare was the target of 13 per cent of attacks, which is lower than the 22 per cent recorded in 2020.

Interestingly, local government bodies, such as councils, which were targeted by a whopping 45 per cent of ransomware attacks in 2020, made up just 16 per cent of ransomware attacks this year.

Infrastructure (11 per cent), finance (3 per cent) and travel (4 per cent) were the sectors targeted by the remaining ransomware attacks.

“All organisations, regardless of the size or sector they operate in, are at risk of the increasingly popular ransomware threat, and without the correct procedures in place said organisations are leaving themselves vulnerable to severe personal data and monetary losses,” said Fleming Shi, chief technology officer, Barracuda Networks.

The analysis also revealed that US organisations were most afflicted by ransomware, making up 44 per cent, followed by EMEA at 30 per cent, Asia Pacific countries made up 11 per cent, 10 per cent were in South America, and 8 per cent were in Canada and Mexico.

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