Table of Content
- Ransomware Attack Stats of the Previous Year
- More Insights on Ransomware Attack Pattern
- Who Could Be The Targets of Ransomware Attack?
- Repeated Victims More Likely to Pay Ransom - Is This True?
- What Is The Most Common Entry Point for Ransomware Attacks?
- Multiple Ways to Minimize Ransomware Attacks
2023 Ransomware Predictions – Report on Latest Trends & Stats
Ransomware is not a new term these days since one in three organizations falls victim to such an attack every year. You can say that ransomware is an enduring & evolving threat designed to infect a target’s network and can lock data & systems. The main motive of this attack has been and will remain the same i.e. theft of sensitive or confidential information and threatening to publicly leak the data of the victim unless a ransom is paid.
To better analyze what can happen today i.e. in 2023, it’s always wise to look into the previous year’s ransomware attack trends/pattern.
Ransomware Attack Stats of the Previous Year
According to the results found by Barracuda, 73% of those surveyed believe they were the victim of at least one successful ransomware assault in 2022, while 38% indicate they were targeted twice or more.
If you see the pattern, organizations that have experienced several ransomware attacks were more likely to admit to paying the ransom to restore encrypted data. In comparison to 34% of those affected twice and 42% of those impacted three times or more, 31% of those affected once paid the ransom to restore encrypted data. A data backup system was also less likely to be used by repeat victims to aid in their recovery.
The data also reveals that in 69% of the organizations, the ransomware attack began with a malicious email, such as a phishing email made to steal login information for network access so the cybercriminals could investigate the organization’s assets, servers, and databases before launching the ransomware attack. The second-placed category, web applications, and web traffic is a developing risk sector due to the constantly growing threat surface.
More Insights on Ransomware Attack Pattern – What’s the Impact on 2023?
You must have come across the phrase cyber insurance, a specialized policy created to shield companies from risks associated with information technology infrastructure and operations, as well as dangers that are Internet-based.
Well, sadly, hackers are taking advantage of the insurance policy. 2023 Ransomware predictions show that ransomware attacks are more likely to affect businesses with cyber insurance.
Compared to 65% of organizations without cyber insurance, more than seven in ten (77%) of those with cyber insurance experienced at least one successful ransomware assault.
This may indicate that cybercriminals are more inclined to target businesses that have insurance because they think the insurers will be prepared to pay the ransom to hasten the recovery process.
Who Could Be The Targets of Ransomware Attack in 2023?
The industries that ransomware attacked varied significantly. For instance, practically every organization providing consumer services (98%) has been the victim of at least one ransomware assault.
As per 2023 Ransomware predictions, consumer services are a prime target for ransomware because they frequently handle a lot of sensitive client information and receive a lot of communication from outside their company. Only 22% of respondents from this sector felt unprepared to respond to a ransomware assault at the same time.
Organizations in the energy, oil/gas, and utility sectors reported an above-average 85% success rate for ransomware assaults. Given the level of damage that ransomware attacks may cause and the scale of the possible payment, 2023 Ransomware predictions say that critical infrastructure is increasingly being targeted.
Research says that organizations in the energy, oil/gas, and utility sectors reported an above-average 85% success rate for ransomware assaults. Given the level of damage that ransomware attacks may cause and the scale of the possible payment, critical infrastructure is increasingly being targeted.
Also, financial services companies were affected twice or more. Compared to other prominent ransomware targets, such as the healthcare industry, only 29% of respondents from that industry reported two or more successful attacks.
2023 Ransomware Predictions – Repeated Victims More Likely to Pay Ransom
The majority of businesses (60%) that paid the ransom to recover the data belonged to the business and professional services sector. Organizations that provide consumer services paid the ransom in 51% of attacks, while businesses that offer financial services and media, recreation, and entertainment delivered in 44% of attacks.
Whereas only 22% of healthcare organizations paid the ransom, making them the least likely of all industries to do so.
Regardless of the frequency of attacks, there were considerable differences in the readiness to pay a ransom by nation and industry.
In contrast to India, where 50% of attacks resulted in ransom payments, the UK, France, DACH countries, and Australia saw fewer instances of organizations paying the ransom to recover their data. However, virtually universally, restoring from backups was the preferred technique of recovery.
According to a survey on Ransomware attack trends, businesses that had experienced three or more ransomware attacks were more likely to pay the demanded sum to have their data decrypted (42% of those). Additionally, they were less likely to adopt a backup mechanism for their data to aid in recovery.
One reason for the correlation between ransomware payments and attacks is that if an organization is known to be prepared to pay, other attackers will focus on that victim.
2023 Ransomware predictions say that access credentials for victims who are known to be prepared to pay and yet vulnerable are probably in high demand on underground markets and initial access brokers (IABs). According to other reports, the same attackers keep coming back.
Also. a data protection system that facilitates data backup and restoration might assist in preventing the need to pay a ransom that might otherwise inspire cybercriminals to launch another attack.
According to the 2022 study on ransom payments, When a victim of ransomware is targeted a second time, 80% of them pay the ransom and frequently do so again.
What Could Be The Most Common Entry Point as per 2023 Ransomware Predictions?
Ransomware attacks started with a malicious email for 69% of the organizations. This percentage is higher than the national average (75%) for slightly bigger businesses with more than 250 employees. Emailing someone is far easier than hacking into a company’s network.
In the past, hackers might include a document with a harmful payload or a URL to a phony website that could disseminate malware. Cybercriminals used social engineering techniques to phish users’ login passwords while organizations implemented advanced threat protection measures like sandboxing and time-of-click URL protection.
As per Ransomware attack trends, attacks can be quickly launched from compromised accounts, enabling hackers to move covertly throughout the organization without being seen. Businesses that wish to strengthen their ransomware defenses should start by putting money into robust cybersecurity services that cover overall security and specialized threat detection.
However, not all industries’ top ransomware attack vector is email. As per Ransomware 2023 predictions, web traffic, and web apps could also be the sources of the majority of ransomware assaults in consumer services.
Attackers may gain access to online programs like file-sharing services, web forms, and e-commerce websites. And mostly user interfaces or API interfaces are used to attack web applications. These attacks frequently make use of OWASP vulnerabilities, brute force assaults, or credential stuffing. After the program has been compromised, the attacker can infect the system with malware and ransomware. This could then spread across the network and the application’s users.
Most importantly, over a quarter percentage (~27%) of the organizations are not fully prepared to deal with a ransomware attack and that is a serious matter of concern.
So, the bottom line is organizations need to be ready to face any kind of cyber risks and deploy integrated attack surface management to protect their ever-expanding threat surface from evolving threats such as ransomware.
Multiple Ways to Minimize The Risk & Exposure to Ransomware Attacks
2023 Ransomware predictions suggest some top cyber security areas to focus on for reducing the risk of evolving ransomware attacks and other cyber threats.
1. Keep Your Credentials secure.
- Credential security necessitates a two-pronged strategy: Spend money on detection and response tools first and then pay attention to user training.
- Email security systems should be able to recognize attacks that use sophisticated social engineering techniques intended to get past filtering technology and deceive users into taking action, as well as malicious payloads sent via links or attachments. You should search for email security that incorporates machine learning techniques because this will more accurately identify social engineering threats by looking for the smallest deviations from customary communication patterns.
- Additionally, it’s critical that staff members understand how to spot and report questionable emails. Utilize phishing simulation solutions, and evaluate the success of any training.
2. Secure Network, Account, and Application Access.
- Every organization should use multifactor authentication (MFA), which is still considered a best practice.
- Attackers have, nevertheless, developed strategies to circumvent MFA. A more sophisticated Zero Trust access strategy that constantly checks individuals and devices and only permits authorized users to access genuine resources should be put into practice.
3. Safeguard Web Applications.
- 2023 Ransomware predictions warn that attackers may gain access to online programs like file-sharing services, web forms, and e-commerce websites. Targeting applications frequently involves using an API interface or the user interface.
- Consider implementing API-based application security as well as a next-generation web application firewall that will offer multilayered security to eradicate sophisticated threats, such as zero-day attacks, intrusion prevention, and malware sandboxing, as well as effective network segmentation to stop lateral network movement.
4. Make a Data Backup.
- Even when it’s on the cloud, data needs to be adequately and securely backed up and segregated in order to fully protect your organization from the effects of a ransomware attack.
- Additionally, you must ensure that your data backup will enable you to restore data in a fair amount of time. To make sure your backup recovery method is effective, test it frequently.
5. Put Effort into Planning In-Depth Defense Mechanism.
- Ransomware distribution is frequently the final phase of an assault, and it may be preceded by lateral movement, data exfiltration, the installation of additional tools, and more. You might be able to stop the full effects of the ransomware if you can identify and stop the attack at these earlier stages.
- This is where Security Operation Center (SOC) Services come in. It will keep your systems and network up to date with the evolving threat landscape, including the latest attacker behaviors and tools, so you know what to look out for and how to respond.
- Additionally, you should aim to investigate everything that doesn’t look or feel right. If you are concerned that you lack the resources to do this, consider Contacting Security Experts who can help you investigate anomalous or suspicious behavior.
Q- What are the expected 2023 Ransomware predictions?
To gain insight into the direction of ransomware, experts typically analyze the latest attack techniques, potential targets, and the emergence of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) models. While predictions may vary, this approach allows for a more informed understanding of ransomware trends.
Q- Which industries are most likely to be targeted by ransomware in 2023?
Ransomware attacks often target industries with valuable data and critical infrastructure, such as healthcare, finance, and government. Predictions may focus on these sectors.
Q- Will ransomware attacks become more sophisticated in 2023?
Predictions could address the rise of sophisticated ransomware techniques, such as those leveraging AI and encryption.