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Ransomware data leaks saw major surge in 2021

Ransomware
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene)

Ransomware operators are leaking data more frequently than ever before, a new report suggests.

US cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike recently published its 2022 Global Threat Report, which states that ransomware-related data leaks surged 82 percent in 2021, compared to the year before.

According to Adam Meyers, SVP of Intelligence at CrowdStrike, data leaks are all about taking control away from the victim. 

“You’re taking the narrative away from the victim. You’re taking the control away from the victim,” Meyers told VentureBeat.

“And that is really powerful for a threat actor. Because typically in years past, if an organization was breached, it was up to them to determine when they notify their customers, when they notify their shareholders, their employees. And it’s been up to them what they want to detail.”

But it’s not just ransomware-related data theft that’s surging; ransomware attacks are becoming more common, in general.

A separate report from SonicWall said that, for the first three quarters of 2021, attempted ransomware attacks grew 148 percent, year-on-year. At the same time, the average ransom demand grew 36 percent, to $6.1 million.

Meyers says organizations need more than antivirus or anti-malware protection. to stay safe, they need to embrace zero-trust network access and strong identity authentication.

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.