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Ransomware Grew 45% H1 2023 Targeting Smaller Organizations

Cyber Security | Sep 27, 2023

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The cyber landscape in 2023 has witnessed a significant surge in ransomware attacks, with small businesses becoming the primary targets.

According to a report from Infosecurity Magazine, ransomware attackers are increasingly targeting smaller, less defended organizations. There was a 47% increase in new victims in the latter half of 2022, with many of these being small businesses with less mature cyber postures.

Specifically, 57% of the victims of the LockBit gang, known for high-profile attacks on the Royal Mail and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), were small businesses.

Many of these groups are moving away from traditional encryption-based attacks. Instead, they threaten to expose and publicize sensitive information, shifting from ransomware to pure extortion tactics.

See:  Small Businesses Incur Greatest Loss of Cyber Attacks | 67% Suffer Repeat Attacks Within 12 Months

Ransomware by the Numbers

  • In the first half of 2023, there was a 45.27% global increase in ransomware victim organizations, totaling 2,001.
  • During the same period, the sectors most targeted by ransomware were banking, retail, and transportation.
  • LockBit, a dominant ransomware since 2022, primarily targeted IT, finance, and professional services.
  • Nearly 50% of all ransomware victims were US-based organizations, a significant increase of 69.94% from the second half of 2022.
  • LockBit was responsible for 26.09% of all ransomware attacks, and in 2022, they accounted for one in six attacks on US government offices.
  • BlackCat and Clop followed LockBit, accounting for 10.59% and 10.09% of ransomware attacks, respectively.

To counter these threats, Trend Micro recommends:

  • Enabling multifactor authentication (MFA) for added security.
  • Regularly backing up data and storing backups in diverse formats and locations.
  • Keeping systems updated to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Verifying emails before opening them to prevent phishing attacks.
  • Following established security frameworks like those from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

See:  Blakes: Cybersecurity Trends in Canada: A 2023 Perspective

The ransomware landscape in 2023 is evolving, with attackers shifting their focus to smaller businesses and adopting new tactics. Organizations must remain vigilant, adopt robust cybersecurity measures, and prioritize incident response and recovery to mitigate the impact of these threats.

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