ransomware

19 Shocking Ransomware Statistics You Need to Read in 2020

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The word ransomware sounds malicious right off the bat. And indeed, ransomware is not something you would want to encounter in your life. 

Here’s why:

It’s a form of malware (malicious software) that encrypts the victim’s secured files. Hackers can then blackmail victims for some form of payment that usually ranges from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. According to ransomware statistics, this payment is usually in the form of Bitcoin. 

But how does one come across ransomware? 

It’s actually very easy, as hackers cleverly disguise themselves through phishing scams. If you think you’re safe from ransomware, think again! You could be one click away from disaster! 

And if you don’t believe us, take a look at some of the alarming cyber facts and stats below. We guarantee you have nothing to lose, but so much to gain when you protect yourself and your personal data from the wrong hands.

Let’s dive right in.

Frightening Ransomware Statistics 2020 (Editor’s Choice)

  • $6 trillion is the expected yearly cost of cybercrime by 2021.
  • $2,500 is the average loss for businesses to ransomware attacks.
  • $13,000 was the average ransom demand from hackers in Q1 2019.
  • 350% is how much ransomware is growing every year.
  • $20 million is the estimated global expenditure on ransomware damage costs by 2021.
  • The average downtime caused by a ransomware attack in 2019 was 7.3 days.
  • 67% of ransomware infections are caused by phishing emails.

General Ransomware Stats

The worrying thing is that anyone can be a victim of ransomware. Still, most hackers target individuals from large organizations because the payout is hefty. 

In fact, successful ransomware attacks cost organizations billions each year! 

It’s not just about the ransom money, but also the overall cost of downtime. It goes without saying that the organization’s reputation is also at stake, as the incident will disrupt users’ trust. 

Still not convinced? Keep on reading! 

1. According to the latest cyber crime statistics and trends, the world will spend $6 trillion every year on cybercrime by 2021. 

(Cybersecurity Ventures)

According to cybersecurity facts and figures, $3 trillion was how much the whole world spent on mediating cybercrime in 2015. Based on historical cybercrime figures that seem to grow each year, it is predicted that cybercrime will cost a whopping $6 trillion a year by 2021

You might be wondering:

Why is cybercrime so expensive? 

Here’s the thing:

Cybercrime is invasive, and fixing damages will include ransom payments, company downtime, loss of data, stolen intellectual property, fraud, embezzlement, launching a forensic investigation, restoring hacked systems and files, and, the most harmful, damage of reputation. 

Truly a nightmare! 

2. The average ransomware demand costs businesses $2,500 per incident.

(Comparitech)

While $2,500 is the average loss of an attack, companies are willing to pay millions of dollars to decrypt their data. Small business ransomware statistics show hackers usually target small to midsize businesses more often (71%) and also middle market ones (29%). 

The cost of a ransomware attack can be split into two types, which are the cost of the ransom and the cost of downtime. The cost of downtime is usually five to ten times the actual ransom amount, as it results in a loss of productivity.

3. Ransomware statistics for 2019 show the average ransom demand was close to $13,000 by Q1 that year.

(ZDNet)

Hackers know that companies are willing to pay big bucks to retrieve their data and prevent further loss. Ransomware statistics for 2018 show the average ransom demand for Q4 was around $6,733

In Q1 2019, cybersecurity company Coveware reported that the average ransom paid out by its clients had increased twofold to around $12,762. This figure is expected to rise even more, as hackers try to get as much as possible from each attack.

4. Ransomware grows at a worrying 350% each year.

(IBM Security and Cisco Security)

Ransomware has the notorious reputation of being one of the most profitable and rapidly growing types of malware, with a mind-blowing 350% growth each year. Ransomware on the rise is largely due to hackers’ ability to adapt and become more sophisticated in tricking unsuspecting users by properly disguising themselves as trustworthy parties.

5. By 2021, ransomware damage costs worldwide are predicted to reach $20 billion.

(Cybersecurity Ventures)

Cyber security facts and figures from Cybersecurity Ventures show the global cost of ransomware for 2017 was predicted to be $5 billion. This prediction is a staggering 15-time increase from 2015’s figure of $325 million

It gets worse:

In 2018, worldwide ransomware damages were a whopping $20 billion. This was a 57-time increase from 2015, making the various types of ransomware attacks the most rapidly growing forms of cybercrime.

6. The average downtime caused by a ransomware attack as of 2019 is 7.3 days.

(Coveware)

Worldwide ransomware attack trends in Q1 2019 show the average downtime due to ransomware is 7.3 days. This number is increasing with each year, as the average downtime for Q4 2018 was at 6.2 days

Now:

This is due to new ransomware attacks becoming more sophisticated and harder to decrypt. The impact of newer ransomware also increases with each year, causing a significant increase in data loss rates by 10% to 20% due to the increasingly advanced nature of attacks.

7. Downtime costs of ransomware attacks are increasing by 200% annually.

(Datto)

The high cost of ransomware attacks mainly comes from the impact of downtime, which is increasing by a mind-boggling 200% every year. This puts the figure at 23 times the average 2019 ransom. This could be due to several reasons, including the huge loss of irretrievable data.

ransomware statistics

8. 67% of ransomware infections are caused by phishing emails, ransomware statistics reveal.

(Statista)

Phishing statistics reveal the majority of ransomware infections begin with a simple phishing email. 

Here’s the deal:

Hackers disguise themselves as representatives from big brands in the form of emails so that users don’t think twice about giving up sensitive information. 

In other interesting facts about cyber security, human error in failure to recognize harmful emails is the entryway for hackers to begin ransomware infections. Lack of cybersecurity training is the next leading cause with 36%, followed by 30% due to a weak password or access management.

9. 96% of paid ransom received a working decryption tool in Q1 2019.

(Coveware)

During the last quarter of 2018, 93% of ransomware victims received working decryption tools to retrieve their data. This percentage increased to 96% during the first quarter of 2019.

The success in decrypting stolen data highly depends on the type of virus. For example, Dharma variants are known to be unreliable compared to GrandGrab TOR ones, which usually uphold their end of the deal.

10. In 2019, a global malware attack review showed Saudi Arabia was the country with the highest reported ransomware attack reach, as 88% of organizations were affected.

(Safety Detectives)

Ransomware victims can be anywhere in the world, and it doesn’t matter if you’re living in a country with the best security technology or high awareness of cyberattacks.

This phenomenon can clearly be seen, as advanced countries like Saudi Arabia experienced most attacks in 2019, with 88% of organizations affected. It was followed by Turkey with 74% and China with 69% of organizations attacked.

11. Ransomware attacks in 2019 in the US targeted nearly 1,000 companies and organizations.

(Emsisoft)

2019 was a tough year for at least 966 US government agencies, healthcare providers, and educational organizations. Cyber attack statistics reveal the total estimated cost of ransomware attacks that year was over $7.5 billion

More specifically, 113 governmental agencies, 89 universities, colleges, and school districts, and 764 healthcare providers were victims. These disruptions didn’t just cause a massive loss for the organizations – they also endangered the safety of patients from the hospitals that were affected.

12. Ransomware attacks on municipalities in 2019 increased by 60%.

(Kaspersky)

In 2019, the latest ransomware attack trend was targeting municipalities, as it increased by a massive 60% from the previous year. Kaspersky reports that 174 cities and towns were affected that year. Ransom demands ranged from as little as $5,000 to as much as $5,000,000

What’s more:

The average ransom demand in 2019 was a whopping $1,032,460! Click To Tweet

13. 61% of schools in 2019 were hit by ransomware attacks.

(Kaspersky)

Academic organizations are also favorite targets of ransomware attacks. In 2019, 61% of schools reported hits. Over 105 school districts with 530 schools were ransomware victims that year.

14. Ransomware attacks in the USA show an unnamed oil and gas company lost around $30 million to an attack.

(Trend Micro)

According to a report by Trend Micro, the attack on an unnamed US oil and gas company infected three computers and data in cloud backups, costing over $30 million. Experts believe the attack was not random; instead, it strategically affected computers for maximum effect.

15. In 2019, 68,000 new ransomware for mobile devices were detected.

(Kaspersky)

Mobile phones are also increasingly being targeted by ransomware, with around 68,362 of the latest ransomware threats detected in 2019. Compared to the previous year, this was an increase of 8,186

However, the generation of new ransomware packages for mobile devices started strongly during Q1 2019, with 27,928 ransomware Trojans detected. Thankfully, this number decreased significantly with each following quarter, until 3,961 new threats detected in the last quarter of 2019.

16. Ryuk is the most common ransomware reported by affected organizations.

(Malwarebytes)

Ryuk is one of the most notorious types of ransomware that appeared around August 2018. During the first two months of attacks, hackers managed to get $640,000 in ransom. 

The thing is:

Ryuk figures show it has the ability to disable the Windows System Restore function, which makes it impossible for users and organizations to recover their data without any external backup before the attack. 

One notable attack was on the Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) in October 2018 where users were unable to use their computers. Significant damage affected the organization’s network, which caused databases and systems to be built from the grown-up.

Healthcare Ransomware Statistics

Healthcare providers are the main targets for ransomware hackers. While ransomware attacks are a nuisance for businesses in general, healthcare ransomware attacks are devastating, as it can be a matter of life and death. 

Here are some of the major ransomware attacks on healthcare providers:

17. In 2016, 88% of the healthcare industry faced ransomware attacks, ransomware statistics confirm.

(Secure Drive)

The cost of a ransomware attack on healthcare organizations varies according to size. However, healthitsecurity.com states that hospitals will generally pay around $429 for each record lost. This hefty amount includes incident response, legal fees, and public relations management to mediate the effects of the attack.

18. Since 2016, healthcare organizations in the US have lost $157 million to ransomware attacks.

(Comparitech)

172 ransomware attacks have been launched on at least 1,446 clinics, hospitals, and healthcare providers in the US since 2016, costing about $157 million. Overall, hackers demanded a total ransom of $16.5 billion, which equates to around $1,600 to $14 million per attack.

19. WannaCry was one of the biggest ransomware attacks recorded, affecting 300,000 computers in 150 different countries.

(The Telegraph)

WannaCry is a form of ransomware that appears to users in the form of phishing emails. The incidence occurred in 2017, and the countries that were most affected include Taiwan, Russia, India, and Ukraine. Other countries that reported incidences include Spain, Portugal, Germany, Indonesia, and many more. 

However, one of the worst ransomware attacks that have occurred recently affected the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) where organizations in both England and Scotland were affected. As a result, the hospitals were forced to cancel appointments and turn away patients who came for treatment at the time. 

What’s more:

Staff also had to do everything manually, as the attack affected main systems as well as phones. International logistics company FedEx also faced a major blow from the attack.

FAQ

Q: How common is ransomware?

According to malware statistics, ransomware attacks are the most common form of malware. With the ever-growing popularity of the internet, there are more and more potential victims for these types of scams. 

 Q: What percentage of ransomware victims pay the ransom?

Almost 60% of ransomware victims end up paying the ransom. This is due to these scams often appearing to be of highly sensitive matter, something a teenager for example would not want his parents to know about. So, instead of asking for help, many just pay the fine in the hope of keeping the ordeal as short and painless as possible.

Q: How much did ransomware make in 2018?

In 2018, ransomware made more than $8 billion. And that number is expected to rise, as it historically has. In 2016, for instance, ransomware costs were just $1 billion.

Q: How many ransomware attacks are there per day?

On average, slightly more than 4000 attacks are carried out every day, ransomware statistics confirm. That number is also steadily increasing, as the industry continues to find new ways to exploit internet users. This increasing number will open more doors and opportunities for hackers to extort as much money as possible from both individuals and organizations.

Conclusion

Over the past decade, ransomware use has skyrocketed. It’s the most popular type of cyberattack on any kind of both individuals and large organizations alike, with recent ransomware attacks in 2019 especially vicious.

Why? 

Because it works! Hackers have succeeded in numerous cases. And if we continue to let this happen, it’s activity will be more widespread, and the likelihood of us encountering it one day will increase.

And this is why these ransomware statistics are here to keep you on your toes. Stay safe!

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