Cybercrime: Risks and opportunities are both rising

Article Excerpt

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that encrypts an organization’s data, rendering it unusable until the ransom money is paid to cybercriminals. According to data provided by the Harvard Business Review, ransom attacks were up by 150% in 2020 while ransom payments increased by 300%. Industry estimates indicate that cyber ransom payments amounted to more than $45 million in the first half of 2021 alone. Most ransomware attacks are carried out by criminal networks, operating under names such as HelloKitty, REvil, Ryuk/Conti, Avaddon, and Darkside. Darkside was responsible for the attack on the Colonial Pipeline which resulted in a $4.4 million ransom payment while REvil conducted the JBS attack. JBS paid $11 million to get their data released. Meantime, U.S. authorities are putting more resources behind the problem. In December 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a “Private Industry Notification” detailing the damage caused by cybercriminals to extract payments from critical industries such as healthcare, emergency services, and utilities…

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