Data Highlights Substantial Decrease in Ransom Payments, with Only 29% Complying in Q4 2023

Ransomware gangs have been a prime concern for quite some time now, with victims across several industries getting targeted by their unique form of malware. Unfortunately, paying the demanded ransom isn’t really a way out because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up leading to re-victimization.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the proportion of people that have acquiesced to the demands of ransomware gangs has plummeted in recent years. Based on data provided by the cybersecurity company Coveware, just 29% of ransomware victims paid the demanded ransom in the fourth quarter of 2023, which indicates that 71% refused the demands with all things having been considered and taken into account.

This is a steep decline from three years ago, when a whopping 60% of companies would give the malicious actors whatever they asked for in the hopes that this would enable them to regain access to their important data. Back in the first quarter of 2019, the vast majority of companies agreed to pay the ransom, or 85% to be precise.

This seems to suggest that there has been a downward trajectory, and it might be due to companies engaging in best practices such as keeping a backup of their essential data on physical hard drives. This creates a situation wherein a ransomware attack would not actually be all that disastrous, since the data can be easily recovered even if the malicious actors wipe the infected system clean.

In spite of the fact that this is the case, some victims are still handing over extremely large funds. The average ransom payment has actually gone up even though the quantity of payments has gone down, with $408,644 paid on average in 2022, and $568,705 paid on average in Q4 2023. On top of all of that, the total quantity of ransomware attacks has been on the rise, with 3,205 instances recorded in 2023 alone. This indicates that malicious actors are undeterred by the lower proportion of payments.

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