During the first half of 2022, over 236 million ransomware attacks occurred worldwide. This staggering number illustrates just how dangerous and prevalent ransomware is today. Both the number of attacks and the amount of ransom demands are on the rise, so it’s critical for businesses of all sizes to have cyber insurance protect themselves, since business owners policies often do not cover ransomware costs.
Some industries are more at risk than others – here’s a breakdown of the top five types of organizations most commonly targeted by ransomware attacks.
Banking and Finance
It’s no surprise that banking is a top target, as access to monetary funds, personal data, passwords, and login information are highly valuable to cyber attackers. A recent survey found that in 2021, over half of the surveyed financial institutions reported at least one ransomware attack.
Organizations that handle cryptocurrency are also under siege from ransomware attacks. It’s estimated that cybercriminals have stolen as much as $4 billion from investors through targeted attacks on cryptocurrency companies.
E-commerce and Retail
Last year, 77% of retail organizations were targeted by ransomware attacks. Retail and e-commerce organizations store payment data, login credentials, credit information, and other personal information, which are all high-value targets for hackers.
Unfortunately, only 62% of retailers who paid a ransom recovered all of their compromised data. It’s becoming less common for organizations to retrieve a complete data set once it has been compromised, even if the ransom is paid in full.
Web-Based Software Services
Attacks on SaaS and webmail services accounted for 20.5% of all ransomware attacks in the first half of 2022. It’s increasingly common for companies of all sizes to rely on cloud-based software for data storage, CRM platforms, and more. Without solid data protection plans in place, these platforms can be vulnerable to cyber attacks.
What’s also troubling is that attacks on SaaS platforms were successful 52% of the time, which is a higher success rate than in any other industry. Even if the platform itself has robust security features, end-user credentials or other malware attacks can allow attackers to access and steal data.
When a manufacturing company is affected by a ransomware attack, a devastating ripple effect can impact the entire supply chain. Hackers know and exploit this vulnerability, which is why manufacturers have seen a sharp increase in ransomware attacks.
A recent report found that nearly half of attacks on manufacturing companies relied on system weaknesses that organizations had failed to fix or weren’t able to address. Downtime and delays cause critical interruptions for manufacturers, so hackers are maximizing their opportunity to take advantage of companies already stretched thin by supply chain volatility and ongoing issues.
Just as manufacturers struggle with downtime, utility companies face many of the same challenges. Because they provide a vital, interconnected service to individuals and companies, utility companies are fast becoming a popular target.
In 2021, Colonial Pipeline paid over $5 million to decrypt systems locked by a ransomware attack. Not only did the organization have to pay a huge ransom, but their systems were also affected for more than a week.
Steps Organizations Can Take to Protect Themselves
Every organization, especially those in frequently targeted industries, can take proactive steps to protect their organizations against constantly evolving cyber threats.
Data encryption, endpoint detection and response (EDR) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) can all prevent ransomware attacks. While implementing and reviewing company-wide security procedures, providing cybersecurity training for staff, and backing up data off-site can limit the severity and cost of damage from a ransomware attack.
In addition to good cybersecurity practices, ensuring your organization is adequately insured against cyber threats can provide valuable resources during a ransomware attack, such as incident response services, on-going threat monitoring, and more.
If you have questions about your cyber insurance options, reach out to the eSpecialty team. We’re always available for a discussion about your coverage options.