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2024 Ransomware Numbers: What the Latest Data Tells Us

Cyber Security

Understanding the nitty gritty of  cyber threats , particularly ransomware is crucial. Research has unveiled a significant correlation between an organization’s annual revenue and its likelihood of falling victim to a ransomware attack. 

Organizations with revenues ranging from $10 to $50 million experienced ransomware attacks at a rate of 56% in the past year. This figure escalates to 72% for organizations boasting revenues of $5 billion or more. 

Interestingly, the size of an organization, measured by the number of employees, does not consistently predict the likelihood of experiencing a ransomware attack. With the exception of the 1,001-3,000 employee segment, which saw a 73% attack rate, organizations across various sizes reported a remarkably uniform attack rate of approximately 62%.

This blog delves into the latest ransomware statistics, offering insights into these cyber threats and a guide on how to leverage data insights for proactive defense.

Analyzing Current Ransomware Statistics

The current landscape of ransomware attacks reveals a significant surge in incidents, with an 81% year-on-year increase in October 2023, despite a 34% decrease from a record-setting September. This data emphasizes the adaptability and persistence of ransomware gangs, who have already affected over 50% more victims than in the previous year. 

The industrial, consumer cyclicals, and healthcare sectors emerge as prime targets due to their valuable data and extensive attack surfaces. North America, Europe, and Asia are the most affected regions. The use of advanced anti-detection tools by threat actors complicates the tracking and prevention of attacks, underscoring the necessity for robust cybersecurity measures

Furthermore, attacks on industry giants like the Schneider Electric data breach exemplifies the intricate methods employed by cybercriminals, signifying a rise in the complexity and scope of ransomware attacks.

Cost of Ransomware Attacks

The financial toll of ransomware attacks on organizations is escalating, with the median ransom payment increasing by 13% to $10,700, reflecting the growing audacity of cybercriminals. Despite a slight decrease in the proportion of firms acceding to ransom demands—from 66% to 63%—the economic impact remains substantial. 

Recovery costs, while slightly reduced, averaged at $5,400, with the highest ransom paid reaching an alarming $535,000. The median cost for the most significant single attack rose to $5,350, up from $4,000 the previous year, underscoring the increasing cost of cybersecurity breaches.

The decision to pay ransoms is primarily driven by the imperative to protect confidential internal information (43%) and customer data (42%), with large companies particularly citing the latter as their main concern. Phishing emails continue to be the predominant method of ransomware delivery, highlighted by 63% of victims, emphasizing the critical need for robust employee training in cybersecurity practices.

However, the efficacy of ransom payments is questionable. Only 46% of paying victims fully recovered their data, a decrease from 59%, and 20% experienced subsequent attacks. This situation is exacerbated for firms without adequate backups, 32% of whom felt compelled to pay the ransom, an increase from 26% the previous year. 

These statistics reveal a stark reality: investing in preventive measures like employee training, multi-factor authentication, and comprehensive backup strategies is not only cost-effective but essential for mitigating the financial and operational impacts of ransomware attacks.

Ransomware’s Evolving Landscape

The evolution of ransomware tactics is a testament to the adaptability and ingenuity of cyber adversaries. The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into ransomware schemes marks a significant shift towards more sophisticated and elusive attacks. 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued warnings about the rise of AI-powered ransomware threats, suggesting a future where ransomware attacks are not only more frequent but also more difficult to predict and prevent.

This evolution necessitates a shift in cybersecurity strategies, with a greater emphasis on anticipation and adaptation. Understanding the methods and motivations behind ransomware attacks is essential for developing effective defense mechanisms.

4 Effective Ways to Prevent Ransomware

Ransomware attacks pose a significant threat to organizations worldwide, exploiting vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access and encrypting data for ransom. Implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is crucial for prevention. Here are four effective ways to fortify defenses against ransomware:

1. Implement Robust Patch Management
Patch Management is essential for keeping software up-to-date and secure. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) emphasizes the importance of timely software updates to mitigate risks associated with software vulnerabilities. An organized patch management process ensures that all software, especially those critical to business operations, is regularly updated, thereby reducing the attack surface for ransomware.

2. Conduct Regular Vulnerability Scanning
Vulnerability Scanning serves as a proactive measure to identify potential weaknesses within an organization’s network. According to the Center for Internet Security (CIS), regular scans can uncover unpatched software and vulnerabilities, prioritizing them based on the severity and the systems’ importance. This enables organizations to address vulnerabilities efficiently before they can be exploited by attackers.

3. Maintain Up-to-date Data Backup and Recovery Plans
Data Backup and Recovery Plans are pivotal in ransomware defense. Europol advises maintaining current backups of all critical data, stored in a secure, off-site location. This ensures that, in the event of a ransomware attack, organizations can restore affected systems promptly without succumbing to ransom demands, significantly minimizing downtime and financial impact.

4. Employ Endpoint Protection Solutions and Cybersecurity Training
Endpoint Protection Solutions combined with Cybersecurity Training for employees create a strong defense against ransomware. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends these practices to enhance awareness among staff about ransomware threats and adherence to security best practices. Training programs should cover recognizing phishing attempts and the proper handling of suspicious emails, crucial for preventing ransomware from penetrating the organization’s defenses.

By integrating these strategies, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of ransomware attacks. This not only protects digital assets but also ensures the continuity of operations, safeguarding against unauthorized access and the potential devastation of ransomware attacks.


The battle against ransomware demands a relentless, data-driven approach. As the threat landscape evolves, so too must the strategies employed by those tasked with safeguarding organizational assets.

Patch and vulnerability management play critical roles in mitigating the risk of ransomware attacks. Effective patch deployment and management ensure that software vulnerabilities are promptly addressed, reducing the attack surface available to cybercriminals.

Similarly, a comprehensive vulnerability management program enables organizations to manage endpoints effectively, identifying and remediating security weaknesses before they can be exploited. In the fight against ransomware, knowledge is indeed power.

For personalized guidance on enhancing your cybersecurity posture, talk to our experts.

Todd Kirkland
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