More than half (56%) of ransomware victims paid a ransom to restore access to their data last year, according to a global study by security firm Kaspersky of 15,000 consumers.
However, for 17% of the victims, the ransom payment did not guarantee the return of the stolen data. As the public understands potential cyber threats, there are important reasons to approach this fight against ransomware with optimism.
Ransomware is a type of malware that cybercriminals use to extort money. Restricts access to data until the ransom is paid by using encryption or blocking users. Kaspersky’s report “Action against consumer appetite: State of data privacy amid increasing digital addiction” revealed that the estimated financial loss for nearly a quarter of the respondents (26%) was less than $ 100, but the total cost for 9%. It ranges from $ 2,000 to $ 4,999.
How do ransomware attacks affect people?
The percentage of victims who paid ransom to regain access to their data in the past year was highest between the ages of 35 and 44, with two-thirds (65%) admitting that they paid.
In comparison, just over half (52%) of 16- to 24-year-olds and only 11% of those over 55 used this approach. This suggests that younger users are more likely to pay ransom than those over the age of 55.
Whether they paid or not, only 29% of victims managed to encrypt or block all their files as a result of an attack. Half (50%) lost only a few files, 32% a significant amount and 18% a small number of files. Meanwhile, 13% of those who experienced such an event lost almost all of their data.
Avoid paying the ransom demanded by hackers
“These data show that we have identified a significant percentage of users who have paid ransom for their data in the past 12 months. But delivering the money does not guarantee the return of the data and does nothing but encourage cybercriminals to continue this practice. Therefore, we always pay those affected by ransomware We advise them not to do it, because this money supports this criminal system, ”says Marina Titova, Head of Marketing for Consumer Products at Kaspersky.
He also adds that it would be best to make sure that they invest in the protection and security of personal devices from the outset and regularly back up all data. This will make the attack itself less interesting or profitable to cybercriminals, reduce application usage and shape a safer future for web users.
Currently, four out of 10 (39%) respondents said they were aware of the danger posed by ransomware in the past 12 months. It is important that this number increases as remote working becomes widespread.
To help you protect yourself, as you learn more about this type of cyber attack, it is essential that you understand what to watch out for and what to do if you encounter these types of situations.
Therefore, Kaspersky recommends the following:
- If one of your devices is locked, don’t pay the ransom. Paying ransom encourages cybercriminals to continue their practice. Communicate better with local authorities and report the attack.
- Try to find the name of the ransomware Trojan Horse. This information can help cybersecurity professionals decrypt the threat and continue to access your files.
- Go to noransom.kaspersky.com to find the latest identifiers, ransomware removal tools, and ransomware protection information.
- Avoid clicking links in unsolicited e-mails or unknown websites, and do not open e-mail files from untrusted senders.
- Never plug USB or other storage devices into your computer unless you know where they come from.
- Protect your computer from ransomware with a complete internet security solution like Kaspersky Internet Security.
- Back up your devices to keep your data safe when faced with a ransomware attack.