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Ransomware Attacks Likely to Double This Year: Report Claims

Ransomware attacks almost quadrupled in the year 2016 & it is estimated that it will once again double in 2017. This is according to a new report issued by data breach response insurance provider Beazley.

The “Beazley Breach Insights – January 2017,” discovered that organizations are most at risk after being hit with an IT system freeze, at the end of financial quarters as well as during hectic shopping periods.

Furthermore, the growing sophistication of the ransomware attacks let the coders behind the attack to survey network systems as well as choose the most critical assets in order to lock down as well as increase their ransom demands based on the value of files they encrypt.

Based on analysis of about 2000 data breaches, the study determined that there were 4 times as many ransomware attacks in the year 2016 as compared to the previous year.

Ransomware attacks likely to double this year: report claims

“The ease and effectiveness of these attacks portend an even larger increase in 2017 with Beazley projecting these attacks to double again in 2017,” the study found.

As the ransomware attacks are continuously increasing in number, the company said that the unintended disclosure of personal information via faxes or emails sent to the wrong recipient is “much more dangerous.” The study found that this type of incidents increased by nearly a third of all breaches in the year 2016, up from 24% in 2015.

The study also found that hacks as well as malware accounted for 40% of data breaches at financial institutions in 2016, which is up from 27% in 2015. Here also the incidence of unintended disclosure of personal information, primarily owing to misdirected emails, rose, rising from last year’s tally by 4 percent – from 24 percent in 2015 to 28 percent of breaches in 2016.

Also in the education sector, the incidence of data breaches owing to hacks as well as malware increased by 10 percent, from 35% to 45% – with unintended disclosures of personal data caused 28% of data breaches in 2016, up from 22 percent in 2015.

“The threat from ransomware is not only growing, but evolving to allow hackers to target vulnerable organisations and their most valuable data files and adjust ransom demands accordingly,” Katherine Keefe, global head of BBR Services, said in a statement.

“The sustained increase in these threats in 2016 indicates that even more organisations will be attacked in 2017 and need to have incident response plans in place before they get a ransomware demand.”

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