Japan and Netherlands-based businesses pay the largest price for ransomware attacks
Cybercriminals encrypt essential files and documents, leaving victims with the option of paying a ransom to regain access or restoring data from backups. That makes ransomware attacks one of the most severe cyber risks businesses face.
According to the Atlas VPN team's findings, organizations in Japan and Netherlands paid the most significant price for suffering ransomware attacks in 2021. In addition, cybercriminals targeted media, leisure, entertainment, and retail businesses the most.
The data is based on Sophos the State of Ransomware 2022 report. The research surveyed 5,600 IT professionals in mid-sized organizations (100-5,000 employees) across 31 countries. The average ransom payment is determined by how much the organizations paid in the most significant ransomware attacks.
Businesses in Japan paid an average price of nearly $4.3 million in the most significant ransomware attacks in 2021. Japan is home to many companies in the IT and manufacturing industry, which is why cybercriminals target Japanese organizations heavily. National Police Agency received 146 requests over ransomware attacks last year.
Companies in the Netherlands handed over an average of $2 million in ransom to cybercriminals. The Dutch government announced in 2021 that it might use intelligence agencies or military services to counter ransomware attacks.
Organizations in the Philippines paid an average price of $1.6 million in ransom. Israeli businesses handed over about $1.3 million to hackers after ransomware attacks in 2021. At the same time, Indian companies paid $1.2 million in ransom to decrypt their information.
Paying millions of dollars to hackers for mid-sized organizations can be devastating. Such businesses are highly vulnerable as they have limited resources for cybersecurity budgets, meaning easier access for cybercriminals.
Industries most targeted by ransomware
While looking at the statistics, a horrific pattern can be seen. About two-thirds of all surveyed organizations claim to have experienced ransomware attacks in 2021. All analyzed industries have a higher than 50% chance of being targeted with ransomware.
Out of all surveyed media, leisure, and entertainment businesses, 79% suffered ransomware attacks in 2021. As social media and entertainment consumption increase, threat actors focus more on such channels. Phishing attack campaigns through social media open doors for malware to access the network.
The retail industry is the second most targeted by ransomware, as 77% of organizations claimed to have suffered an attack. Online shopping and e-commerce continued to grow in 2021, which fueled ransomware attacks on retail businesses. As many companies moved to the digital space, cybersecurity became a new challenge to manage.
Three out of four (75%) businesses in the energy and gas sector suffered ransomware attacks. Cyberattacks on such companies can have a significant effect not only on the business itself but also on countries' supply of gas and petrol. Gas shortages were recorded in countries where ransomware disrupted energy infrastructure.
Out of surveyed respondents in the distribution and transport industry, 74% experienced ransomware attacks in 2021. The business and professional services sector is next up, as 73% of companies were attacked with ransomware. Furthermore, 69% of other companies dealt with ransomware, while 66% of healthcare institutions were targets of such attacks.
Based on the evidence, ransomware assaults are not going away anytime soon. Hackers will continue to target various countries and businesses as long as they uncover flaws to exploit. Whether you are a smaller business or a giant corporation, spending on cybersecurity is necessary to keep your and your client's data secure.