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Ransomware attacks see huge rise compared to 2017

(Image credit: Image Credit: WK1003Mike / Shutterstock )

Malware and its younger sibling ransomware are on the rise, security experts are warning. According to new global figures from cyber security company SonicWall, malware has seen a 44 per cent jump, compared to the same period last year.

Ransomware, a type of malware which encrypts all data on a victim's machine and demands ransom in cryptocurrency in exchange for the decryption key, has seen a 117 per cent jump in the same period.

More than 300,000 new attack variants have been spotted during the period between January and October this year, which means 1,095 new attacks every day. More than 50,000 of these attack variants have never been seen before.

SonicWall says its web apps experienced 108 per cent more attacks this year, amounting to a total of 93,816 threats. Encrypted threats, 'the hardest for the average web user to detect', were up 62 per cent.

SonicWall also says that businesses of all sizes should keep a close eye on their cyber security posture, because ransomware is 'no longer limited to large enterprises'.

Businesses of all sizes are 'fair game' to cyber criminals. Experts have been warning that organisations that end up on the receiving end of ransomware should not pay any ransom. This does not guarantee they will get their data back, and does not guarantee that they will not fall victim to another ransomware attack in the future. Instead, organisations should make sure they stay safe by educating their employees on the risks of downloading shady attachments and opening suspicious links.

Image Credit:  WK1003Mike / Shutterstock 

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.