Wednesday, 22nd September 2021

Ransomware attacks surge by over 150% in 2021

Businesses and people around the world suffer ransomware attacks every day.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, ransomware attacks are up 151% in the first half of 2021, compared to the same time in 2020. The United States is the most ransomware threatened country by a significant margin.

In the first half of 2020, there were a total of 121.4 million ransomware attacks across the world. The most significant ransomware attack in H1 2020 was the Maze ransomware outbreak in the Cognizant company’s network. The attack cost about $50-$70 million to the business in revenue loss, recovery, and relief efforts.

The first half of 2021 has already reached 304.7 million ransomware attack attempts making it the worst ever recorded year.

Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN William Sword shares his thoughts on ransomware attack growth:

“Ransomware attacks are a severe problem that terrorizes many organizations or government agencies, causing national danger. As many people neglect basic cybersecurity rules, they become easy targets for cybercriminals. Improving people’s cybersecurity awareness and preparedness is a must if companies want to reduce ransomware attacks.”

Ransomware destination: The United States

Ransomware attacks with the largest payouts mostly happened to US companies over the past couple of years.

The United States is a prime target for most hackers, as the country has experienced 227.3 million ransomware attack attempts. In other words, there are about 865 threats every minute in the first half of 2021.

The second most targeted country is the UK, as they encountered 14.6 million ransomware attack attempts. Many UK citizens and organizations became ransomware victims over the past couple of years.

Next up, Germany suffered from 11 million ransomware threats so far this year. Lack of ransomware awareness is a massive problem for German small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

South Africa is fourth with 10.5 million ransomware attempts, and Brazil follows behind with 9.1 million attempted threats.

Approximately 5.4 million DDoS attacks represent an 11% increase over 1H2020.
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