Ransomware poses an increasingly sophisticated threat to organizations around the world. Fortinet surveyed 569 cybersecurity leaders and executives and found that over 80% of them are extremely concerned about this threat.

Despite this, 78% of organizations feel very prepared to prevent a ransomware attack.

However, the reality is different: 50% of organizations fell victim to ransomware last year.

Among the organizations affected, 71% admitted to having paid part of the requested ransom. Interestingly, 72% of them detected the incident within hours. Despite this, only 35% were able to recover all of their data after the attack, even with cyber insurance.

All is not lost, however. 91% of leaders surveyed expect cybersecurity budgets to increase in the coming year, with plans to invest in technologies and services that protect networks from ransomware attacks. Top priorities include implementing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning for rapid threat detection, as well as centralized monitoring for timely response. The emphasis is on Internet of Things security and next-generation firewalls.

Phishing emails are the primary method used by ransomware actors to enter networks. Therefore, investing in endpoint security is crucial. Additionally, data has shown that organizations that rely on individual products are more prone to a ransomware attack. This underlines the importance of adopting an integrated approach that also takes into account people and processes.

Although the year-over-year growth of ransomware slowed in 2022, following the explosion of this attack method in 2021, its frequency continues to increase. For example, in the first half of 2022, there is the introduction of 10,666 new variants, double the number of the previous six months.

The probable reason for this change is that Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operations are maturing, allowing cybercriminals to introduce new variants that are more sophisticated and aggressive than ever before. Furthermore, they have become more selective, specifically targeting organizations capable of paying a large ransom. Unlike the initial success of RaaS, which was initially based on volume – more affiliations meant more opportunities to infiltrate networks and launch attacks – RaaS operators are increasingly selective about which associates they allow to join their operations.

Ransomware has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, with a significant increase in the number of variants introduced. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operations are maturing, allowing attackers to select more lucrative targets and demand higher ransoms. This more systematic approach has led to an increase in the successes of ransomware attacks.

Organizations of all sizes and industries need to adopt appropriate security strategies to mitigate the threat of ransomware. Investing in the right technologies, people and processes is essential to prevent future attacks and protect corporate data.

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