Despite it has never been easier to launch a ransomware (opens in new tab) attack, the number of such incidents has actually fallen year on year, claims a new report from cybersecurity firm SonicWall.
According to the company’s latest threat intelligence document, which covers the third quarter of 2022, the number of ransomware attacks has halved (-51%) in the US alone. However, other parts of the world came into the picture, with attacks increasing 20% in the UK, 38% in the EMEA region and 56% in APJ, compared to the same period last year.
Still, it’s worth noting that ransomware volume hasn’t been this low since Q3 2020.
Business Model Diversification
According to the cybersecurity firm, it has registered 338.4 million ransomware attacks since the beginning of the year.
Ransomware actors are diversifying their business models and broadening their networks, the researchers further argue, claiming that demand for their services continues to grow. As a result, there has been an “explosion” in the variety of different tools and resources on offer, on various underground forums and similar marketplaces.
All of this makes businesses increasingly concerned about ransomware attacks. In fact, 89% of the newspaper’s respondents said they were concerned about financially motivated threats.
“Ransomware has evolved at an alarming rate, especially over the past five years – not just in volume, but in attack vectors,” said SonicWall Emerging Threat Expert Immanuel Chavoya. “The latest Q3 data shows how bad guys are getting smarter at evolutionary strain development and getting more targeted in their attacks.”
Ransomware attackers target a variety of sectors, from education to healthcare and critical infrastructure. The problem has gotten so bad that government agencies from some of the world’s largest countries have stepped in to try and mitigate the threat.
Usually, cyber criminals would trick employees into giving away their corporate credentials and use that access to steal sensitive data and prevent the victims from accessing it unless a ransom was paid. If the victim refuses to pay, the criminals leak sensitive data online, damaging the company’s reputation and attracting regulators looking for fines.