The Rise of Ransomware

Hilary Tuttle


December 1, 2016


Ransomware attacks have quadrupled in 2016, according to a Beazley Breach Response Services review of client data breaches. In July and August alone, 20% more of Beazley’s clients suffered a ransomware attack than in all of 2015.

While the ransoms remain low, often in the range of $1,000, the true costs are higher due to the extensive review of company systems and data required to ensure the malware has been removed and data is clean.

Looking at specific industries, Beazley noted a significant uptick in attacks against financial institutions in the first three quarters of 2016, with hacking and malware accounting for 39% of breaches in the sector, up from 26% in 2015, and higher education increased from 38% last year to 46% in 2016. Hacking and malware account for a relatively steady proportion of just over half of breaches in the retail sector.

Among healthcare organizations, however, human error has spiked, with 40% of industry incidents caused by unintended disclosure compared to 28% last year.

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.