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Ransomware threats more frequent, sophisticated: Study


Ransomware threats are becoming more frequent and threat actors more sophisticated, says a study issued Wednesday by cyber risk and response company NetDiligence.

“The increasing frequency and loss magnitude caused by ransomware incidents is a huge concern for insurers and organizations,” the study by the Gladwyne, Pennsylvania-based company said.

“We expect these numbers to continue to trend in an upward direction unless organizations focus on putting appropriate defensive controls and processes in place,” the study says, quoting Tauseef Ghazi, national leader, security and privacy risk consulting, for consulting firm RSM US LLP in Houston.

The study analyzed 5,797 claims arising from incidents that occurred between 2016 and 2020. 

Almost 1,500 of these were related to ransomware, with 55% occurring in 2019 and 2020, accounting for the largest number of claims, according to the study.

The report found that ransomware demands averaged $146,000, while total incident costs averaged $179,000.

Ransomware incidents accounted for 79% of claims with a business interruption loss, the study found. Business interruption costs in ransomware incidents in 2020 averaged $489,000, with the total incident cost averaging $975,000.

Recovery expenses in ransomware incidents in 2020 averaged $107,000, with the total costs of these incidents averaging $427,000.