Ransom Amounts in Cyber Attacks Decrease by 44% in Q4 2021 Despite Record Breaking Third Quarter

2021 had a lot of major news events occur, but one headline that people frequently saw referenced ransomware because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up growing at an exponential rate. The third quarter of 2021 saw record breaking ransom amounts being paid, but in spite of the fact that this is the case the growth stopped there with the fourth quarter showing more positive signs.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the average ransom paid during 2021 was 44% lower than the Q3 average. That suggests that Q3 was a statistical outlier rather than the shape of things to come. Also, ransomware claims decreased in the fourth quarter of 2021, going from 0.6% in the first quarter to 0.3% by the end of the year.

Small to medium businesses are driving much of this positive change, and that has been spurred by more stringent requirements for ransomware insurance. Creating data backups and improve data security protocols is now mandatory for businesses that want to be insured, and that has actually led to ransom payments being less critical with all things having been considered and taken into account.

However, small to medium businesses are still playing catch up with only 8% of them having budgets that they have dedicated to cybersecurity. Businesses with over 250 employees tend to do a bit better, with 18% of them having created budgets for cybersecurity.

All of these trends indicate that ransomware might not become the world ending phenomenon that people were worried it might become. It is still a threat of course, but with ransom payment amounts decreasing, along with ransom fulfillment in general, it’s clear that businesses are starting to rise to the challenge. Having a data backup makes businesses more secure because they can access their data again if a malicious actor tries to hold their systems for ransom. Everyone is hoping that this downward trajectory continue throughout the rest of 2022.

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