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Ransomware groups set sights on large corporations

ransomware
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Ransomware operators are setting their sights on large corporations, as the number of attacks surges worldwide, a new report from security firm Barracuda Networks suggests.

The report states that the volume of ransomware attacks rose 64 percent year-on-year, totalling 121 incidents detected in-house since August 2020. Of that number, 40 percent targeted large multi-national businesses, compared to just 14 percent a year ago.

While large businesses suffered a greater number of attacks, those in the healthcare and education sector saw a drop-off in incidents (of 22 and 15 percent respectively). Local government bodies were also given a breather; last year, they were on the receiving end of 45 percent of all attacks, but this figure has now dropped to 16 percent.

American companies were the most frequent targeted (44 percent), followed by those in EMEA (30 percent) and Asia Pacific (11 percent).

The average ransom demand, Barracuda says, hovers around the $10 million mark. Almost a fifth (18 percent) of attacks demanded less than the average, while a third (30 percent) demanded north of $30 million.

“The first line of defense against ransomware should start with the staff – ensuring they are trained and made aware of ransomware threats, which often arrive in the form of email-based attacks, is imperative to preventing these cyber scammers from gaining a foothold to begin with,” explained Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda Networks. 

“However, there will always be the chance that a sophisticated ransomware attack is successful, regardless of the preventative measures that are already in place. This is why it is most important that organizations equip themselves with a secure, third-party data backup solution, that can identify critical data assets and implement disaster and recovery capabilities, so that a victim isn’t pressured into paying the ransom to retrieve vital information.”