Ransomware increases by 172% in H1 2016

Businesses lose $206 million to ransomware, finds Trend Micro

Ransomware is the fastest growing security threat to organisations, according to Trend Micro's 1H Security Roundup Report.

Not only did the occurrence of ransomware families nearly double between the first half of 2015 and first half of 2016, 79 brand new families appeared in the first six months of this year. Many of these new families were specifically developed to attack enterprise-based machines and endpoints, including Crysam, Zcrypt, Crypjoker, Crypradam and Powerware.

These incidents caused huge losses for US businesses - $209 million to be precise - but many of them could have been avoided had the companies taken precautions against them, including educating staff about the risk of ransomware and the damage it can cause, Trend Micro said.

More than half (58 per cent) of the attacks originated from attachments in emails, although Trend Micro explained cybercriminals are becoming more intelligent in their methods use to spread such attacks. For example, Jigsaw threatens to delete a number of files for every hour a ransom isn't paid, while Surprise ransomware increases the ransom amount if the victim does not meet the payment deadline set out by the criminal.

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"Ransomware is capable of crippling organizations who face it, and the cybercriminals spearheading these attacks are creatively evolving on a continuous basis to keep enterprises guessing," said Raimund Genes, chief technology officer for Trend Micro.

"It has dominated the threat landscape so far in 2016, causing immense losses to businesses across multiple industries. Enterprises must adopt multi-layered security solutions to optimally combat these threats that could attempt to penetrate corporate networks at any time."

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