For years, ransomware primarily targeted the consumer market. However, according to a new report from Malwarebytes, cybercriminals have dramatically shifted their focus to organizations, businesses, and municipalities.

Ransomware By The Numbers

Consumer ransomware attacks hit record highs in 2016 and 2017. In the last year, cybercriminals have changed tactics and targets. Attacks on organizations have risen an astonishing 365% year-over-year. Conversely, attacks dropped on the consumer side by 12% year-over-year and 25% percent quarter-over-quarter.

For comparison, here are the raw numbers from August 2018 vs. June 2019.

Ransomware Attacks – August 2018

0
Organizations
0
Consumers

Ransomware Attacks – June 2019

0
Organizations
0
Consumers

The Malwarebytes report confirms a similar increase reported by Vectra. Both reports were released at Black Hat 2019, an annual information security conference.

Why The Increase?

Sure, home computers make easier targets. However, they don’t pay very well. Cybercriminals can only make small ransom demands to improve the odds of getting paid.

Move to the commercial world, and business networks contain critical data. Encrypt that data, and the loss affects the entire business. It disrupts operations to the point that productivity can be halted. It may even cause the business to shut down permanently. With such high stakes, ransom demands go up right along with the odds of getting paid.

Biggest Targets

This new surge of ransomware mostly hits cities and organizations in healthcare and education. These make great targets as their budgets rarely include upgrading hardware or software. Consequently, they’re unprepared for a ransomware attack. A few cities across the U.S. recently made the news as attacks¬†knocked municipal operations back a few decades and resulted in large payouts for the attackers.

What To Do?

Don’t assume you’re safe. No business is too small a target or unlikely to be hit. Even if you have a disaster recovery plan, re-evaluate it every year at a minimum. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan, start creating one today. Not sure where to start? Ask us for help! We prevent ransomware attacks and help businesses recover from them all the time. Request a free consultation below and rest easy knowing that Pit Crew IT Services has you covered!

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