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30 Riveting Ransomware Statistics in 2023 – Increditools

Ransomware is running rampant, increasingly threatening businesses, agencies, and industries across the globe. Highly disruptive attacks lead to enormous costs from business interruptions, recovery efforts, and ransom payments.

Let‘s closely examine the scale and impacts of today‘s ransomware epidemic. These eye-opening statistics reveal key trends, hardest hit sectors, worldwide proliferation, and more.

As an experienced online privacy pro and streaming geek, I‘ll shed light on ransomware‘s massive growth and share tips to lock the hackers out. Let‘s dive in!

Ransomware 101

First, a quick primer on these cyberattacks. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files on a system, locking out the owners. The attackers demand a ransom payment, usually in cryptocurrency, in exchange for restoring access.

Infection often starts with phishing emails containing infected links or attachments. Once inside a network, ransomware spreads rapidly to encrypt files across connected systems. The effects are extremely disruptive, especially for companies and agencies.

Ransomware emerged in the late 1980s but has absolutely exploded since 2020 as attackers realized its moneymaking potential. The statistics we‘ll cover next illustrate the stunning scope of today‘s ransomware epidemic.

Key Ransomware Statistics

Let‘s start with some stats that underscore ransomware‘s current dominance:

  • 21% of all cyberattacks in 2021 involved ransomware, per IBM‘s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index report. While down slightly from 23% in 2020, ransomware remains the #1 cyber threat today.
  • 1,981 K-12 schools suffered ransomware attacks in 2022, up nearly double from 1,043 schools attacked in 2021, according to ZDNet‘s ransomware tracker.
  • The average cost of recovery from a single ransomware attack now averages $1.85 million, a 144% jump from $761,000 in 2020, according to research by Sophos.
  • Global cybercrime costs could hit $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015, per Cybersecurity Ventures. Ransomware will account for a massive chunk.
  • Through just the first two months of 2023, at least 73 publicly reported ransomware attacks occurred worldwide, per ransomware tracker BlackFog.

The message is clear: ransomware is still growing exponentially and inflicting major damage to businesses, agencies, schools, and more around the world.

Industries In the Crosshairs

Certain sectors attract more ransomware attacks due to valuable data, deeper pockets, and lax security. The most targeted industries include:


Schools saw unprecedented ransomware attacks as online learning boomed during the pandemic. Ransomware disabled distance learning tools and exposed personal data.

  • At least 89 reported ransomware attacks hit universities, school districts, and other education organizations in 2022 alone, per ZDNet.
  • The huge ransomware spike on schools emphasizes the urgent need to beef up their cybersecurity.


Hospitals and clinics make appealing targets for two reasons:

  • They have valuable medical data to steal and sell.
  • Disruptions to operations directly risk patient health and safety.
  • Healthcare facilities faced at least 25 publicly reported ransomware attacks in 2022, per ZDNet‘s tracking.
  • Attacks on healthcare organizations more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, per cyber firm SISA.


Ransomware cripples production for manufacturers.

  • Researchers at Dragos detected 437 ransomware attacks on manufacturers in 2022, up from 315 attacks their platform observed in 2021.
  • Europol estimates 700 ransomware attacks hit major manufacturers in Europe alone between 2019 and 2020.


From local cities to federal agencies, ransomware threatens public services.

  • At least 246 ransomware attacks have struck U.S. government entities since 2017, exposing over 173 million citizen records, per analysis from security firm CORVUS.
  • High-profile attacks hit cities like Baltimore, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Even police departments and libraries are targets.

Ransomware‘s Threat to Small Business

While gigantic corporations grab headlines, ransomware also endangers small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide. Consider these troubling statistics:

  • Ransomware causes 51% of cyber incident costs for SMBs on average, making it their #1 cost driver, according to a NordLocker survey.
  • When hit by ransomware, 92% of retail companies said it impacted their ability to operate, per Sophos research.
  • The manufacturing sector, filled with SMBs, faced at least 437 ransomware attacks in 2022, per Dragos.
  • 70% of small businesses lack the funds to recover from a ransomware attack, per TechJury. Yet they remain in the crosshairs.

The bottom line is that attackers see SMBs as vulnerable, lucrative targets. But smaller companies often lack the cybersecurity resources of large enterprises, putting their very survival at stake in the face of ransomware.

Ransomware‘s Global Reach

Let‘s zoom out to view ransomware from a worldwide perspective. The ability of attackers to target victims regardless of geography is staggering:

  • Austria suffered the highest average ransomware recovery cost per incident globally in 2021 at $7.75 million, according to Sophos.
  • With an 18.2% share of global attacks, the United States sees the most ransomware incidents, per NordLocker‘s research. Canada comes next.
  • 26% of all ransomware attacks worldwide targeted Asia in 2021, per IBM‘s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index.
  • At 48 hours, the average ransomware attack duration in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) is the highest globally, per Sophos.
  • $30 million – the record ransom paid by an Brazilian ransomware victim in 2020, per Palo Alto Networks.

Clearly, no place is safe from the global ransomware pandemic. Geographic borders mean nothing to these borderless cyberattacks.

Why Ransomware is Severely Underreported

Many victims keep mum about ransomware attacks. As a result, public statistics capture just a fraction of true incident rates. Consider:

  • An estimated 54% of ransomware attacks go unreported, per cyber firm BlackFog.
  • Companies stay quiet to avoid reputation damage and loss of customer trust.
  • They don‘t want to inspire copycats seeking quick payouts.
  • Firms feel ashamed, even if they tried their best to prevent it.
  • Mandatory breach reporting laws would reveal the true scale.

In reality, most organizations hit by ransomware will quietly pay the ransom and move on. But this skews public perception of ransomware‘s soaring growth and systemic impacts.

Escalating Ransom Demands in 2023

Not only are attacks spiking, but ransomware gangs are upping their extortion demands:

  • The average ransom payment jumped 78% from 2020 to 2021, reaching $170,404, according to Unit 42 researchers.
  • The Conti gang demanded $25 million from construction giant Bouygues in a 2021 attack.
  • DarkSide‘s Colonial Pipeline attack extracted a $4.4 million payment. Imagine what your company would pay.
  • Many insurers limit cyber protection to $5 million, leaving companies unprotected from larger demands.

We expect ransom sizes to keep climbing in 2023 as attackers price in bigger payout potential. But more companies seem willing to pay.

The Role of Cyberinsurance

Cyberinsurance picks up much of the tab for ransomware damages and payments:

  • In 2021, 67% of cyberinsurance claims stemmed from ransomware, per Coalition Insurance. The rate was just 32% in 2019.
  • 55% of mid-sized firms have cyberinsurance today to help manage the risk, per TechJury.
  • But insurers are limiting coverage against ransomware and significantly hiking premiums as claims soar.

Cyberinsurance enables companies to pay ransoms by shielding them from the full financial hit. But the question is how long insurers will continue covering these incidents.

Ransomware‘s Cryptocurrency Connection

The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin fueled ransomware‘s explosion:

  • In 2021, nearly 98% of ransomware demands were paid in cryptocurrency, up from just 53% in 2018, per Palo Alto Networks.
  • Cryptocurrency enables ransomware gangs to easily collect payments anonymously.
  • Bitcoin alone facilitated $602 million in ransomware payments from victims in just the first half of 2021, per Chainalysis.

Clamping down on illicit cryptocurrency transactions could help slow ransomware. But right now, the blockchain systems protect criminal activity.

How Ransomware Attacks Unfold

Understanding ransomware‘s infection methods reveals how companies can protect themselves:

  • 91% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email, the easiest way to infiltrate networks, per Verizon.
  • Once inside, attackers use admin tools like PsExec to rapidly deploy ransomware across networks.
  • They map networks to locate backups and maximize damage. For example, Ryuk ransomware checks for over 1,000 file extensions.
  • Full encryption takes under three hours on average after initial infection, per Coveware. Speed is ransomware‘s calling card.
  • Payment deadlines create high pressure. Conti ransomware gave victims just five days before threatening leak of data online.

This sequence shows why layered security and restricted admin access are crucial to stopping ransomware‘s spread post-infection.

Recent High-Profile Ransomware Attacks

Looking at major 2023 attacks reveals that no industry or size of business is immune:

  • $70 million – the reported ransom paid by Brazil‘s Lojas Renner to Conti ransomware attackers in April 2022.
  • A February 2023 attack on cloud company Blackbaud exposed data on several major universities.
  • In March 2023, Kia Motors America fell victim to DoppelPaymer ransomware, disrupting manufacturing.
  • A 2023 attack crippled operations at Air Canada, forcing significant flight delays.
  • Even tech giants like Samsung, Nvidia, and Uber got hit by major ransomware attacks since 2021.

This onslaught will continue unless companies prioritize cyber resilience against ransomware threat actors.

Improving Your Ransomware Defenses

Given the soaring risk, businesses must take action now to lock out ransomware. Follow these best practices:

  • Keep all software and apps updated with the latest security patches.
  • Back up critical data regularly and store it offline unreachable by malware. Test restoration too!
  • Restrict admin permissions and use the principle of least privilege to limit ransomware‘s ability to spread.
  • Educate all employees on phishing and cybersecurity awareness to stop social engineering attacks.
  • Deploy layered cybersecurity protections like firewalls, 2FA, antivirus software, intrusion detection, and email filtering.
  • Closely monitor networks with SIEM tools to detect intrusions and anomalous activity that may signal ransomware.

No single tool can halt ransomware. But taking a layered, proactive approach to cybersecurity will drastically lower your risk. Don‘t wait until it‘s too late!

Final Thoughts

As these compelling statistics have shown, ransomware is a runaway cybercrime epidemic impacting organizations globally regardless of size, sector, or geography.

And it‘s still growing exponentially. Attackers are targeting businesses critical to our society like healthcare and education providers. They‘re extorting SMBs essential to local economies. Governments struggle to safeguard public infrastructure and services.

By understanding the scale and tactics fueling today‘s ransomware crisis, companies can develop resilient cybersecurity to detect and stop attacks before they inflict major damage. While daunting, this threat can be conquered through vigilance, preparation, and collaboration.

Stay safe out there! Let me know if you have any other ransomware or cybersecurity questions. I‘m here to help fellow streaming geeks and online privacy fans defend against the dark side.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.