Ransomware locks up computers.

5 alarming ransomware statistics you should know about

Ransomware is a harmful computer virus that encrypts your data and demands payment, usually in the form of Bitcoin. You can be infected with ransomware by a malicious email, system vulnerability, or malware-infested website.

Here are some of the most alarming ransomware statistics that’ll help you better understand how this particular threat works.

1. Ransomware cost businesses $5 billion in 2017

Even if you do pay the ransom, there are other costs wrapped up in a ransomware attack.

For starters, you have to consider the downtime your business will encounter during the attack and the long-term financial impact the bad press could bring about.

Ransomware cost businesses $5 billion in 2017. This is up significantly from 2015 when ransomware attacks only cost businesses about $325 million (and even in 2016 when the costs were around $1 billion).

Unfortunately, you can only expect these costs to grow larger over the coming years.

2. In 2016, 70% of ransomware victims paid the fines

Those who face a ransomware attack have a tough choice to make. They can either lose all their data (if it’s not backed up) or pay the hackers.

In some cases, ransomware can knock out a whole network, which has happened to hospitals around the country numerous times. In those cases, it is much more serious than simple data loss. It is about access, safety, and infrastructure — truly a life or death situation.

This is why 70% of ransomware victims decided to pay the fine in 2016. The cost of data loss typically outweighs the fine.

3. No one is immune to ransomware

Ransomware doesn’t discriminate. Hackers may even target larger networks in order to get a bigger payout.

In the past few years, targets have included a public school system in Massachusetts, Atlanta’s city government, FedEx, and the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. Many of these somewhat high profile targets didn’t have the proper contingencies in place for such an attack, illustrating the importance of disaster recovery plans and reliable backups.

Related Content: 5 major cloud security benefits your business should understand

4. Ransomware attackers focus on the USA

American businesses seem to be the focus of ransomware attackers.

In 2017, 29% of attacks were on American targets. The next highest share of attacks went to Japan with a share of only 9%.

Why do hackers target Americans? Any number of theories could be true, but the only ones who know the real answer are the hackers themselves.

5. The average ransomware demand is over $1,000

In 2017, the average demand for ransomware was over $1,000, but some – especially larger targets – could experience a demand for more.

In one study, CEOs said they would pay anywhere from $20,000-$50,000 to get their data back from a ransomware attack. And we’ve seen large organizations fork out the cash — like in 2017, when a New York hospital paid attackers $30k.

Final thoughts

Don’t get stuck without a backup or contingency plan, and don’t become another ransomware statistic. Contact Systemize Networks to find out more information about how to be prepared for a ransomware attack.