Ransomware does not discriminate by industry, audience, business size, or otherwise. It will always be a threat to your organization, no matter what you do or who you serve. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly targeted industries that ransomware is used against.
Industries Commonly Attacked by Ransomware
Ransomware can be used against all kinds of businesses, including these commonly targeted industries:
- Professional Services
- IT Services
Let’s briefly discuss the situation surrounding each of these industries.
Professional services can include anything from accounting to consulting to legal assistance, all of which collect and utilize sensitive information that could be a treasure trove for ransomware criminals. These companies also lack sufficient cybersecurity in some cases, making them easy pickings.
School systems tend to collect loads of sensitive data for all of their students, as well as the faculty and staff who mold young minds. According to antimalware provider Emsisoft, 2021 saw operations disrupted for over 1,000 institutions as a result of 88 ransomware attacks, and half of these incidents resulted in employee or student data being stolen.
Did you know that 40% of surveyed government IT decision-makers around the world were affected by ransomware? Considering the attacks against Ireland’s national health service in 2021, 2019’s ransomware attack against the City of Baltimore, and 2019’s lockdown of a United States Coast Guard facility, it’s pretty easy to believe.
Even trained and seasoned IT professionals can fall victim to ransomware attacks, something which highlights how truly dangerous ransomware is. If providers can get fooled by ransomware attacks, then imagine the damage they can cause against your average small business.
Healthcare providers are another industry that can be lucrative for ransomware hackers. With hospitals and doctors’ offices housing countless sensitive records governed by HIPAA and other regulatory bodies, they will be much more likely to pay up to avoid both loss of life and loss of funds.
Manufacturing in particular is vulnerable to double-extortion methods in which ransom payments are demanded, followed up by threats of releasing data online if additional payment is not received promptly. Manufacturing was the most common industry sector to have data stolen and leaked online, and since these companies are also likely to have their data backed up online, they were the least likely to actually pay up.
According to Sophos, utilities companies like oil, gas, and more are much more likely to pay up in the event of a ransomware attack. Take one look at the Colonial Pipeline shutdown for a perfect example. The Department of Justice recovered about half of the ransomware payment, but the attack still devastated the company’s eastern operations through fuel delivery disruptions.
The first half of 2021 saw more ransomware attacks against financial institutions than the entirety of 2020, and payments have increased in accordance with this. Many are under the impression that ransomware could create a financial crisis; it’s that big of a problem.
Ultimately, No Business is Safe
You cannot guarantee that you won’t get struck by a ransomware attack, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared, either. Reciprocal Technologies can help you take preventative measures today. To learn more, reach out to us at (317) 759-3972.