Installing ransomware onto someone’s computer is like taking it hostage. You won’t be able to use the device until someone deactivates the software.
Ransomware attacks simplified
Hackers very often use this method against larger organizations. For example, if a company’s system gets hijacked by ransomware attackers, they can take its data and network hostage. Then, they’ll threaten to delete all files and records unless the company pays a ransom to the attackers.
Tips to prevent ransomware
Back up your devices and store your data separately. This way, you’ll have something to fall back on in case you fall victim to a ransomware attack.
Keep your software and OS up to date. Ransomware can creep inside your devices through vulnerabilities in your system. Make sure it’s always patched!
Be wary of emails
Don’t open suspicious emails, attachments, or URLs as they can carry viruses. If you’re thinking of opening any links or files, check them on websites like VirusTotal first.
Use cybersecurity tools
Antivirus software with real-time protection can help you avoid ransomware. Use it to run regular scans together with firewalls and email filters to further decrease the risks.
Don’t pay the ransom
Paying the ransom never means you’ll get your data back. Some ransomware attackers just want to cause the maximum amount of damage, financial and structural.
Ransomware crime stats
According to the FBI Internet Crime Reports, here's how devastating ransomware attacks were from 2015 to 2022:
Average losses and victim count
year over year
Ransomware attack cases have reached record numbers with 3.7K yearly victims (around 10 victims per day) in 2021.
Victims have reported the highest average financial loss to ransomware attacks in 2022 ($14.4K per victim).
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the number of ransomware cases grew by 21%, and the average financial loss grew by 169% (from $4.4K to $11.8K) per victim compared to 2019 as well.
Despite the increasing awareness of online crimes, daily financial losses to ransomware attacks have grown around twenty one times from 2015 ($4.4K per day) to 2022 ($94.1K per day).