Ransomware Attacks Rise Almost 93% in 2021, According to New Research
Global cyber security and risk mitigation expert NCC Group has revealed that ransomware attacks almost doubled in 2021, rising 92.7% year-on-year, according to its 2021 Annual Threat Monitor.
This builds upon a gradual but noticeable rise in ransomware attacks since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with ransomware accounting for 65.38% of all incidents dealt with by our global cyber incident response team (CIRT) in 2021.
Throughout the year, attacks were most commonly targeted at the public (19.35%) and industrial sectors (19.35%), followed by consumer cyclicals (16.13%).
Compiled by NCC Group’s strategic threat intelligence team, the report details the events of 2021 and their impact on the cyber threat landscape, providing an overview of incidents across all sectors and highlighting global trends.
The insights are based on incidents identified by NCC Group’s global managed detection and response service (MDR) and its global cyber incident response team (CIRT).
Remaining consistent with NCC Group’s monthly threat pulses, the most targeted regions during 2021 were North America and Europe, accounting for 53% and 30% of all attacks respectively. v
NCC Group explained that these regions are densely populated with wealthy organizations, which provides an incentive to threat actors that employ a big-game-hunting methodology. The team has highlighted this as the reason for the concentrated ransomware activity in these areas and have predicted that this trend will likely continue throughout 2022 and beyond.v
Trends that NCC Group identified in 2020, such as surges in specific months of the year, were also seen again in 2021. An observable increase in the number of victims was reported until July, which then dropped off before another surge in August, which the NCC Group team have attributed to seasonal and holiday-related fluctuations in cybercrime activity. This would also explain the continued trend of many…