The number of ransomware attacks has more than doubled over the last year as cybercriminals continue their relentless campaigns to hold networks and data to ransom.
According to an analysis by cybersecurity researchers at SonicWall, the volume of attempted ransomware attacks targeting their customers rose by 105% in 2021, to a total of 623.3 million attempted incidents throughout the year.
The figure also represents more than triple the number of attempted ransomware attacks recorded in 2019.
The biggest surge in ransomware attacks came between June and September 2021, a period that featured some of the most significant incidents of last year. These included the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, the JBS ransomware attack and the Kaseya ransomware attack.
Both Colonial and JBS were among the ransomware victims who opted to pay cybercriminals millions of dollars in ransom demands in order to obtain a decryption key to restore their networks.
Cybersecurity providers and law enforcement agencies recommend against giving in to ransom demands, as it shows criminals that ransomware attacks work. But in some cases, victims perceive it to be the most efficient way of restoring the network – although even with the correct decryption key, this can still take months of effort.