Guest Post: Ransomware Volume Doubles In 2021, Surpassing 600 Million

Cybercriminals use ransomware as a tool to encrypt companies’ essential data. Usually, if an organization has not backed up its information in the cloud, it is doomed for big trouble.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, global ransomware volume surged by 105% in 2021. In addition, cybercriminals sent the most ransomware attacks to the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Ransomware attacks globally reached nearly 188 million volume in 2019. Next year, in 2020, ransomware threats grew significantly, rising above the 300 million volume.

However, both years do not come close to the number of ransomware attacks seen in 2021. The threat volume doubled, reaching 623 million ransomware hits. The total number of ransomware attacks represents nearly 20 ransomware attempts every second.

March had the lowest number of ransomware threats, as cybercriminals launched 36.2 million attacks. On the other hand, June was a stand-out month, as it recorded the highest volume of ransomware threats — 78.4 million.

Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis shares his thoughts on ransomware attacks:

“Ransomware has continued to grow as criminal gangs could launch sophisticated attacks uncontested for a long time. However, as governments saw what damage ransomware can bring, many states invested in cybersecurity to get ahead of attackers. Proper defense tools and good cybersecurity practice awareness can help mitigate ransomware risks.”

The United States remains the primary ransomware target

Over the last few years, ransomware attacks, which targeted US businesses, usually come out with the largest payout, making the country’s organizations a wanted target.

The United States suffered significantly more ransomware threats than any other country — 421.5 million. That makes the US 12 times more likely to suffer a ransomware attack than second-placed Germany.

Cybercriminals launched 34.2 million ransomware attacks at Germany in 2021. In November, German-based MediaMarkt, Europe’s largest electronics retailer, was hit by a Hive ransomware attack demanding to pay $50 million in bitcoin.

Next up, the United Kingdom was affected by 33.5 million ransomware volume. Conti criminal gang leaked 69,000 confidential documents relating to celebrities like Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, and more after a successful attack on British jeweler Graff in October.

Brazil ranks fourth with 33 million recorded ransomware threats in 2021. At the same time, Canada follows up fifth, as cybercriminals launched 24.2 million ransomware hits.

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