Ransomware attacks targeting financial sector tripled in last 12 months, says report

Rick Steves

“Many cybercriminals target small businesses in an attempt to gain access to larger organisations. As a result, it is essential for security providers to create products that are easy to use and implement, regardless of a company’s size.”

The Finance sector is one of the most targeted industries – making up 6% of the top 106 highly-publicized ransomware attacks since August 2021, according to research by cybersecurity company Barracuda.

The report added that ransomware attacks targeting finance organizations and institutions tripled when compared to the same period last year.

As detected threats spike to 1.2 million per month globally, cybersecurity increasingly becomes a critical factor for businesses across the world. The Finance sector inevitably is a favorite target for criminals, which puts the industry in a tougher position security-wise, but there are sectors that endure more attacks.

Barracuda researchers have found that the education (15 per cent), municipality (12 per cent), healthcare (12 per cent), infrastructure (8 per cent), and financial (6 per cent) sectors are the five most targeted by adversaries.

More ransomware attacks, but fewer ransoms paid

The analysis reveals that ransomware attacks on educational institutions more than doubled compared to the previous year, while attacks on the healthcare and financial verticals tripled, and infrastructure-related attacks quadrupled.

Despite the noted rise in the number of service providers – companies that provide IT services or other business services – impacted by ransomware during the last year, public data suggests that fewer victims paid the ransom, likely due to better defenses, especially in critical infrastructure.

Most ransomware attacks don’t make headlines as many victims choose not to disclose when they get hit and the attacks are often sophisticated and extremely hard to handle for small businesses, the firm added.

Fleming Shi, Chief Technology Officer at Barracuda, said: “As ransomware and other cyberthreats continue to evolve, the need for adequate security solutions has never been greater. Many cybercriminals target small businesses in an attempt to gain access to larger organisations. As a result, it is essential for security providers to create products that are easy to use and implement, regardless of a company’s size.

“Additionally, sophisticated security technologies should be available as services, so that businesses of all sizes can protect themselves against these ever-changing threats. By making security solutions more accessible and user-friendly, the entire industry can help to better defend against ransomware and other cyberattacks.”

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