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Ransomware attacks doubled in frequency during pandemic

ransomware
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Phishing may be the most common cybersecurity threat in the UK, but it could be only a matter of time before ransomware snatches the crown, a report from cybersecurity firm CybSafe suggests.

Analyzing data provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), CybSafe noted that phishing was to blame for most incidents so far this year, making up 40 percent of all cases reported to the ICO.

At the same time, ransomware attacks made up almost a quarter (22 percent) of all incidents reported, surging from 11 percent last year.

Of all the different industries, the education sector seems to have it worst, as ransomware accounted for roughly a third (32 percent) of all attacks in H1 2021, up from 11 percent a year ago. CybSafe believes education became a prime target due to remote learning, which became hugely popular during the pandemic.

Education aside, retail and manufacturing firms are still prime targets, accounting for 20 percent of all reported incidents. As retail companies look to gather as much data on its customers as possible, it becomes a bigger target.

“To combat this threat, we need to move beyond box-ticking awareness exercises and appreciate the human aspect of cyber security if we want to experience genuine behavioral change,” said Oz Alashe, CEO of CybSafe. 

“These behaviors are the foundation of our defense against such malicious threats and will only grow in their importance over the coming years”.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.