According to analysis by cybersecurity researchers, over half of ransomware attacks are targeting one of three industries; banking, utilities and retail but they’ve warned that all industries are at risk from attacks and no business or industry is safe.
This data was gathered during a period when some of the most high-profile ransomware attacks of the past year happened. It was reported by Trellix that banking and finance was the most common target for ransomware during the reporting period, accounting for 22% of detected attacks. That’s followed by 20% of attacks targeting the utilities sector and 16% of attacks targeting retailers. Attacks against the three sectors in combination accounted for 58% of all of those detected.
Utilities is a particularly enticing industry for ransomware gangs to target because the nature of the industry means it provides vital services to people and businesses, and if those services can’t be accessed, it has a detrimental impact. As demonstrated by the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline, which led to gas shortages in the north eastern United States. Colonial was forced to pay a ransom of millions to cyber criminals in order to receive the decryption key.
Ransomware attacks against retailers can also have a significant impact, forcing shops to be restricted to taking cash payments, or even forcing them to close altogether while the issue is resolved, preventing people from buying everyday items they need. Other sectors that were significant targets for ransomware include education, government and industrial services, serving as a warning that no matter which sector they operate in, all organizations could be a potential target for ransomware.
As cyber criminals adapt their methods to target the most sensitive data and services, organizations must shore up their defenses to mitigate further threats. Here at bva, we can assist your organization in doing just that with our cybersecurity services and solutions. We’ll put security measures in place for your organization to address ransomware to ensure your data and intellectual property stay protected. As your ethical hackers we’ll penetrate your network to true-up security holes, make systems more reliable, and secure commercial and personal data.
While several high-profile ransomware groups of 2021 seem to have disappeared or gone dark, particularly following arrests, new gangs and malware strains are emerging all the time and ransomware remains a key cybersecurity threat to organizations around the world.
In order to help protect networks against ransomware and other cyberattacks, organizations should regularly apply the required security updates to operating systems, applications, and software, which can prevent hackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities to launch attacks. It’s also recommended that organizations apply multi-factor authentication across all accounts and that security teams attempt to scan for credential-stealing attacks and other potential suspicious activity in order to prevent attacks before they happen.