A recent analysis from NordLocker shows what kind of organizations are increasingly under the threat of ransomware attacks in 2020 and 2021.
Since the world went into lockdown last year in a battle against COVID-19, most organizations and industries had no choice but to rapidly adopt a fully digital model to sustain their operations. While initiatives such as digital transformation enabled them to keep their business continuity in challenging times, it wasn’t enough. Most organizations didn’t have a secure infrastructure in place, thus leaving them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Many cybercriminals had utilized the opportunity to launch their cyber-attacks, especially ransomware operations. They have targeted every industry that they could find by advancing their tools and techniques to accomplish their malicious intent. As per NordLocker the ransomware attackers have surged to thousands per day and are expected to cost businesses the US $ 20 billion.
In its effort to understand the severity of cyber-attacks, Nordlocker has conducted a study to identify the top industries that the ransomware gangs are launching their attacks on. The end-to-end file encryption tool provider, NordLocker, identified 35 of the most victimized industries. CIOs can utilize these stats to understand the scope of these recent ransomware hacks. This can also help IT and business leaders to understand which industries need to take extra security measures.
Top industries victimized by ransomware attacks
As per NordLocker’s analysis, Construction firms have been hit the hardest. In research on 1200 organizations, the company found 93 of victimized organizations are of the construction organization followed by manufacturing with (86). Industries such as Finance (69 ransomware attack related cases), Healthcare (65), Education (63), Technology & IT (62), Logistics & transportation (59), Automotive (56), Municipal services (52), and Legal (49) are the rest of the industries that makes the top 10 list of the most targeted industries by ransomware gangs.
As per NordLocker’s research, not only large enterprises, such a global hotel chain, an automotive giant, or a worldwide clothing brand but also small family-owned and operated businesses such as an Italian restaurant or a dental clinic have suffered cyber-attacks.
The top countries where businesses get attacked by the most attacks are the US (732 cases), UK (74), Canada (62), France (58), and Germany (39). As per an industry expert, most of the ransomware gangs come from the post-Soviet states that still maintain a level of hostility towards the US and thus seek to harm the country’s both private and public sectors. Also, the belief that the US has the wealthiest companies contributes to the reason that the country gets attacked the most.
Conti is the most well-known ransomware gang with 450 attacks to its name. REvil (210 hacks), DopplePaymer (200), and PYSA (188) are other gangs that have earned their name among the cybercrime groups.
Also Read: Five Zero Trust Myths CISOs Should Know
Securing the business against ransomware attacks
While the ransomware attacks are still evolving at a rapid pace, there are a few easy-to-implement cybersecurity strategies that can help IT, leaders, to strengthen their defense:
- Organizations should ensure that their employees should utilize multi-factor authentication to connect to their systems.
- CIOs and other leaders encourage the training of staff to secure their emails. They should help them identify the signs of phishing, especially when an email has attachments and links.
- Organizations should enforce periodic data backup and restoration processes. For them, an encrypted cloud can be the most secure solution to deal with it.
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