A recent report by Allianz has found that scammers demanded an average payment of $5.3m from hacking victims during the first six months of 2021.
These findings mean that victims of extortion paid a median fee in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The $5.3m average is up 518% on 2020, with the highest demand being a $30m payment.
According to Cyberscoop, the figures represent the latest glimpse into how ransomware attacks are becoming exponentially more expensive as victim organisations look to insurance providers to cover the breach, extortion payments, business interruption and ensuing remediation efforts.
Allianz remarked that the number of ransomware claims have shot up over the past two years, with the number incidents in the first six months of the year exceeding the figure of all of 2019. External events – including hacks and distributed denial-of-service attacks – accounted for 81% of cyber claims, while malicious internal action and accidental causes accounted for 10% and 9% of claims respectively.
Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality global head of cyber Scott Sayce said, “The claims environment and the cyber threat environment is considerably worse than it was a few years ago.”
Ransomware has undoubtedly become a much bigger issue to a wide range of companies this year. Huge cyberattacks on the Colonial Pipeline, IT provider Kaseya and JBS Foods gripped public debate, as the cybersecurity industry looks to find new ways to manage ransomware attacks.
Governments are also seeking to come down hard on the challenges ransomware attacks pose. US President Joe Biden recently said that the US will unite 30 countries to crack down on the threat posed by ransomware gangs worldwide. Also in the US, a bill drafted by the US Senate and House of Representatives would require victims of ransomware attacks in the US to report any payments to hackers within 48 hours.
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