The Rising Tide of Cybercrime: 8 Important Statistics You Should Know About Ransomware

Ransomware is gaining notoriety because of it is now a multi-million dollar industry. These statistics show how big a threat it is.

GuidesFor Team

A message from a Ransomware hacker is probably the worst cyber nightmare you can see on your device. The theft of your confidential information from your web-based email is nothing to sneeze at, because that means your personal data has become fair game for the hackers to use. However, phishing and similar email attacks do not leave you inoperative or paralyzed.

That is the potential death knell that Ransomware can deal you: until you pay the hacker the money he is asking, which can range from $1,000 to $150,000, your computer and its files simply won’t work. Neither can you access them. If you don’t pay up, the hacker can destroy them – or sell their contents – according to his pleasure. As the name of the virus describes, every important file you need to make your life work has been held for ransom.

Ransomware hackers target enterprises more than individuals for two reasons. Obviously, even a small business can pay more than an individual user (unless he is extremely wealthy). Second, a successful Ransomware attack on a company can capture more than just one device and its contents. It can cast a wide net on hundreds of desktops and laptops of one small-to-medium-sized business which normally has 250 employees.

That your small business has not experienced this admittedly dramatic kind of attack is a cause for gratitude. However, it does not mean eternal immunity as one day the hacker might train his sights on your company. Statistics about Ransomware attacks should keep you on your toes and compel you to fortify your defense systems with the best antivirus software available. Check out these figures:

  • Email remains the number one method of infiltration by Ransomware hackers as of 2016.
  • 50% of organizations surveyed by Osterman Research in the first half of 2016 had been infected by Ransomware.
  • $209 million were paid by victimized companies to Ransomware attackers in the first half of 2016. This is a 1000% increase from 2015 statistics.
  • Another $24 million extorted from 2,500 companies were paid to Ransomware hackers in 2016, as revealed by the Internet Crime Complaint Center. That means each company or individual successfully attacked paid at least $9,600 each.
  • 67% of malware attacks, including Ransomware, during the second quarter of 2016 were Trojans released by unsuspecting or unwary employees.
  • Ransomware attacks rose by 35% in 2015, and they became more sophisticated. Hackers have gone beyond launching them to desktops and connecting networks, to infiltrate smartphones, Mac, and Linux systems. The more daring ones have even tested the waters (or the defense systems) of smart watches and internet-wired TV!
  • Only 42% of companies successfully attacked recovered their data.
  • 7% of IT attackers did NOT release the computers, networks, and files even after the companies had paid the ransom, as of the third quarter of 2016.

These statistics clarify that no one is exempt from a Ransomware attack. There is no better time than this moment—that means NOW—to boost your antivirus defense systems.  You can train your people to protect themselves and their devices from the subtle, but debilitating, consequences inflicted by Ransomware.


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