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The persistent threat of ransomware to information security around the world and the META region is significant. In the previous year, the typical price tag for a ransomware attack was pegged at US$4.54 million as per the data breach report by IBM. Over 74.2M ransomware attacks were intercepted and thwarted by Kaspersky’s solutions, indicating a 20% surge compared to the year 2021. Though 2023 commenced with a downswing in ransomware attacks, certain regions experienced a resurgence in Q2, as compared to the corresponding period of 2022. Kaspersky’s Security Network data reveals that the frequency of attempted ransomware attacks in the UAE experienced a dip by 9.5% from Q1 to Q2 2023. Kaspersky’s solutions efficiently mitigated these attempts.
Ransomware statistics fluctuate across regions with trends depicting both increases and decreases. However, the constant lies in the increasingly sophisticated and targeted nature of ransomware. Ransomware attackers have a broad target range spanning from healthcare and educational institutions to service and industrial providers.
The beginning of 2023 witnessed the continuation of LockBit as a dominant figure among the world’s most influential and prolific ransomware groups. REvil and Conti were ousted from their spots by the Vice Society and BlackCat. Other groups like Clop and Royal rounded up the top five at the start of 2023.
As per Dmitry Galov, who helms the Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), ransomware collectives globally are constantly upgrading their tactics, primarily driven by three elements. Firstly, the risk associated with getting apprehended in attacking a specific organization, secondly, the potential ransom size and finally, the technical complexity of the attack. If any of these parameters misalign with the group’s intentions, they reconsider their strategy. Galov further added that the implementation of effective security solutions could likely deter ransomware groups from targeting an organization. It’s a requisite investment considering the dire implications of ransomware attacks such as irreversible data loss, disruption of business operations, squandering of time, reputation damage, and substantial financial losses.
Kaspersky’s various security solutions – Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business, Kaspersky Small Office Security, and Kaspersky Internet Security – have proven to be completely efficacious against ransomware attacks as per Advanced Threat Protection Test evaluations by AV-TEST. In ten different full-chain attacks, these products did not allow the loss of a single user file.
The National High Tech Crime Unit of the Dutch National Police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky, alongside other partners initiated the No More Ransom project in 2016 to battle ransomware and provide assistance to victims. On its official website, the participating entities offer decryption tools, guidelines, and instructions for reporting cybercrimes, regardless of the incident location. These resources have already aided victims from 173 ransomware families to recover their data without having to make any payments. Moreover, the initiative also emphasizes raising awareness about ransomware and imparting preventive measures to prevent infections. As a founding member of No More Ransom, Kaspersky has been a significant contributor since the project’s inception.