Ransomware is a severe and recurring cyberattack nowadays. It happens when a cyber threat actor locks a company’s data with encryption as late as a victim pays the ransom. In the past few years, these attacks have picked up the pace along with severity. If we talk about payments, the average ransomware payment ramped up by 60% in the first half of 2020, with bitcoin used for most payments.
In 2020, ransomware attack methods have put victims in a more challenging position than we saw previously. Over time, cybercriminals have increased demands, using ransomware to extort victims. In some cases, it rose to over $40 million. It was the case when the hacking group REvil demanded $42 million from the U.S President Donald Trump in May 2020. It threatened to release controversial information on him.
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Ransomware turning more destructive
In the last couple of years, ransomware attacks have been turning more dangerous while on an unabated increase. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has increased the scope of the Ransomware issue. Cybercriminals intend to encrypt the maximal possible part of the corporate network to extort a bitcoin ransom in exchange for restoring it.
Regretfully, a single attack can end up making hundreds of thousands or sometimes millions of dollars for cybercriminals.
Total predicted damage to cybercrimes
In a report by Emisoft, Costs of ransomware demand could exceed USD 1.2 billion by the end of this year. According to another report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime could end up inflicting damage totaling USD 6 trillion globally in 2021. If gauged as a country, cybercrime would be the third-largest world economy after the U.S and China.
As expected by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime can grow by 15% per year over the next five years. By 2025, it can reach up to USD 10.5 trillion annually, up from USD 3 trillion in 2015.
In history, it portrays the largest transfer of economic wealth. Apologetically, it risks the incentives for investment and innovation. To your surprise, it is exponentially higher than the damage caused by natural disasters in a year. In comparison, combined all the global trade of all major illegal drugs, cybercrime alone will turn out more profitable.
Organizations need to get prepared in advance when ransomware attacks are unabatedly increasing. It is essential to update your incident response plans to account for ransomware.
Ransomware payment in cryptocurrency