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There was a 32% increase in ransomware attacks in September over August reported to Beazley PLC clients, the insurer said Wednesday in a report.
The insurer said in its Beazley Breach Insights Report it is unclear whether this spike will continue because until September, the overall number of ransomware incidents in 2018 had been holding steady with 2017 numbers.
Health care insureds remained the most targeted industry, accounting for 37% of reports.
The report said ransom demands have increased significantly in the more sophisticated attacks, up to as high as $2.8 million. The report said in these instances the criminals have targeted the victim organization or research it once they have obtained access.
“They’ve also done reconnaissance on their network and compromised back-ups before deploying the encrypting malware, which puts pressure on the organization to pay the ransom,” said the report.
The report said the top two causes of data breaches reported to its BBR Services in 2018 have been hack or malware attacks, accounting for 47% of the total, and accidental disclosure, 20%.
Hack or malware, which also includes ransomware, is up by 11 percentage points compared with the same period in 2017 because of a sharp increase in the number of email compromises this year, said the report.
In Beazley’s second quarter report, attacks that targeted business email accounts continued to increase, accounting for 23% of incidents reported to its clients.
A report by IBM Corp. found that ransomware attacks cost organizations across the world around $8 billion in 2017, ETtech.com reported. The report found that the number of cyber attacks declined nearly 25% year over year to 2.9 billion. Financial services recorded the most number of attacks, while the number of attacks targeting the manufacturing and information and communications technology sectors increased in 2017.