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Ransomware mentioned in 1,000+ SEC filings over the past year

(Image credit: Image Credit: WK1003Mike / Shutterstock )

Over the past 12 months, more than 1,000 companies have listed ransomware as a potential threat to their business in SEC filings.

According to a recent ZDNet report, there have already been more than 700 of such filings this year, with 2020 set to surpass last year's figures at the current rate.

High-profile companies such as Alphabet, American Airlines, McDonald's and Tupperware all reportedly expressed concern about ransomware , in filings designed to inform shareholders about potential threats to business.

Three key factors appear to be behind the increase in ransomware mentions in SEC filings: the SEC has asked businesses to be more transparent about cybersecurity risks, the destructive power of ransomware has grown and ransom cost has grown to “unthinkable levels”.

As businesses have adapted to the threat of ransomware, hackers have turned to more advances strategies. Instead of simply encrypting files on a target network and demanding ransom in exchange for the decryption key, attackers now download as much data as possible to use as leverage if a business attempts to restore from a previous backup.

This is why avoiding infection altogether, by educating employees about the threats of phishing and other scams, remains the best way to protect a business against ransomware.