Ransomware attacks are now the second most commonly reported security incident

ransomware laptop

Analysis by CybSafe of incidents reported to the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) shows that ransomware attacks made up 22 percent of all reported cyber security incidents in the first half of 2021. This is up from 11 percent in the first half of 2020

Phishing still leads, accounting for 40 percent of all cybersecurity cases reported to the ICO, slightly down from 44 percent the year before, but ransomware has now edged into second place.

Education is the sector hardest hit, with ransomware accounting for 32 percent of attacks in the first half of 2021 compared to just 11 percent the year before. With many schools rushing to transition to remote learning, increased attacks have resulted in schools losing coursework, financial records and COVID-19 testing data.

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Retail and manufacturing continue to be a prime target for cyber attacks too, making up 20 percent of all reported incidents in the first half of 2021.

Oz Alashe, CEO of CybSafe, says:

Ransomware, already a significant threat, has become increasingly prevalent over the past year. Recent attacks on government agencies and healthcare services have shown us just how devastating such attacks can be. In education, the rapid transition to remote learning has opened new holes in schools' defenses, and ransomware gangs have been all too happy to exploit them.

To combat this threat, we need to move beyond box-ticking awareness exercises and appreciate the human aspect of cyber security if we want to experience genuine behavioral change. These behaviours are the foundation of our defense against such malicious threats and will only grow in their importance over the coming years.

You can read more on the CybSafe blog.

Image credit: AndreyPopov/depositphotos.com

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