Cyber-attacks in 2021 – Ransomware Attacks Are Becoming a Common Occurrence amid the COVID-19 Era

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Cyber-attacks in 2021 - Ransomware Attacks Are Becoming a Common Occurrence amid the COVID-19 Era

Nearly 22% of cybersecurity incidents in H1 2021 are ransomware, reveals a new security report.

Given the current market scenario, threat actors are spamming via modern technologies with ransomware strategy to encrypt a businesses’ systems. The threat landscape is evolving, and with time, the attackers have created sophisticated cyber-attacks with spear-phishing emails – which have the capability to seed genuine websites with malicious code.

Indeed, these targeted attacks have a much higher success rate. Moreover, the emerging of a new attack has found exfiltrating ransomware data as well as warning to make it public – in cases where the ransom is not compensated. Consequently, more enterprises are enhancing their cyber resilience and training employees to stay alert and cope up.

Ransomware attacks have made up nearly 22% of all reported cyber-security incidents in the H1 of 2021, according to a new study by CybSafe. The researchers analyzed the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) data to reveal the number and nature of UK cybersecurity attacks and breaches reported to the body over 2020 and 2021.

Also Read: Building a Robust Threat Hunting Program on a Limited Budget

In 2021, phishing was to blame for a vast majority of incidents. It accounted for approximately 40% of all cybersecurity cases which had been reported to the ICO. This figure is slightly down from 44% year-over-year. However, ransomware is also surging – up from 11% of the incidents in H1 of 2020 up to 22% in 2021.

According to the statistics, the education sector encountered the most brutal hit, with ransomware accounting for almost 32% of attacks. This is recorded in the first half of 2021 in contrast to only 11% the year before. With all educational institutes and schools rushing to transition towards remote learning, there have been increased attacks. This has resulted in losing coursework, financial records, and COVID-19 testing data.

In March 2021, all 17 schools in the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust faced disruption following a ransomware attack. Retail and manufacturing continue to be a major target for cyber-attacks, making up roughly 20% of all cyber incidents in the first half of 2021. Retailers hold increasingly large amounts of customer data and use digital channels to stay competitive, leading to a greater risk of cyber-attacks.

Also Read: Most Enterprises Encountered Serious Cloud Security Breach or Leak last Year

It is no secret that ransomware has already been a significant threat and becoming increasingly prevailing over the past year. The recent cyber-crimes around government agencies and healthcare institutions have shown us how devastating a business crisis could turn out to be. The rapid transition into remote learning has uncovered new loopholes in academies’ defenses in education. Certainly, ransomware groups are making the most by exploiting them.

As explained by Oz Alashe, CEO at CybSafe, in the company blog post, “To combat this threat, we need to move beyond box-ticking awareness exercises and appreciate the human aspect of cybersecurity if we want to experience genuine behavioral change. These behaviors are the foundation of our defense against such malicious threats and will only grow in their importance over the coming years”.

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