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What Types of Businesses Are Common Ransomware Targets?

Ransomware attacks can be catastrophic for any business, and they tend to happen more to certain types of businesses. In general, the top three targets for ransomware attacks are:

  • Businesses that keep sensitive and/or personal information – banks, healthcare, lawyers
  • Businesses with lower (or perceived to be lower) security – education
  • Businesses with a lot of money – large companies, companies from wealthy countries

We will go into each of these in more detail, but we at InterVision know how seriously companies are affected by these issues. We want to make sure you know from the beginning that Ransomware Protection as a Service™ (RPaaS™) is available, meaning you do not need to be at the mercy of these attacks, unprotected.

 

What Industries Are Targeted by Ransomware?

Top ransomware targeted industries typically have lots of data, lots of money, and don’t have cutting-edge cybersecurity in place.  It should come as no surprise that, according to a recent study, the banking and finance industries are the most common target with 22% of recorded attacks. Utilities, with 20%, and retailers at 16% round out the top three most likely sectors. Put together, these three groups are subjected to more than half (58%) of all ransomware attacks.

Depending on how data is collected and how exactly industries are divided, it is difficult to come up with a definitive answer to questions like “who are the top 5 targets of ransomware?” In addition to the broad industry types listed above, these are some other commonly targeted industries:

  • Education – have a lot of data sharing between users and are perceived as having lower security overall
  • Government – store a huge amount of very sensitive information that they rely heavily on to function
  • Manufacturing – huge and costly disruption to production without access to their data
  • Healthcare – lots of sensitive personal data plus life and death consequences make victims more likely to pay ransom quickly

 

Which Industries Are Most Likely to Pay Ransomware?

Some industries are significantly more likely to pay the ransom to have their data restored after an attack than others. This is often for a combination of reasons, but an industry’s inability to operate without their data and data that contains sensitive information about their customers rank as two of the biggest factors.

Energy and utility companies reported paying ransom the most often, 43% of the time. This isn’t surprising, since this industry has two high risk factors. They are unable to provide their hugely important products and vital services to customers if their data access is disrupted. They also have huge datasets of people’s personal information stored.

Retail, IT, and professional services (like accountants and lawyers) are also industries with a higher rate of ransom payment – all over 33%.

 

Are Other Industries Involved in Recent Ransomware Attacks?

It can be tempting to think that only the industries and types of businesses we’ve talked about so far are at risk for ransomware attacks, and so let your guard down if you are in a different business. But the unfortunate truth is all companies, whether they fit into one of the “higher risk” categories or not, can be a victim of a ransomware attack. Don’t become one of the companies that doesn’t see themselves as a target, so has less security (including ransomware protection). This makes you a much easier target for attacks.

When compared to , businesses in the US have the highest risk of attacks, with 18% of the global incidents. And the global impact of ransomware in all industries is astronomical, causing an estimated $6 trillion of damage. Ransomware is attacking a business somewhere every 11 seconds!

List of Companies Affected by Ransomware in 2022

To show the wide range of industries and businesses affected by ransomware attacks, let’s look at some of the biggest attacks so far in 2022. There are hundreds of successful attacks each month, of varying degrees of severity and reporting, so this is just a small snapshot.

  • Government – Bernalillo County located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, lost access to many government buildings and had a compromised detention facility due to an attack.
  • Retail – The sportswear maker Puma had worker data stolen and was unable to issue payroll because of continuing data issues for several weeks.
  • Defense Contractor – Hensoldt, a German defense company that works with the US and other foreign governments, confirmed a ransomware attack on one of their branches.
  • Energy – Wind turbine giant Nordex was attacked and forced to shut down their entire IT network, including management of many of their turbines.

 

Need Ransomware Protection? You Need InterVision!

Unfortunately, ransomware attacks aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and as we rely more and more on technology they will continue to cause big issues for all involved. The basic protection and backups aren’t enough to make sure your company’s data and operations are secure. Our Ransomware Protection as a Service™ (RPaaS™) is the industry’s first and most comprehensive approach to ransomware attack defense.

We focus on every aspect of protection, detection, and recovery from a ransomware attack to help you sleep better at night. Download our Ransomware Protection as a Service™ (RPaaS™) Brief to find out more, or contact us today.