The last 12 months have seen an unprecedented amount of disruption across the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, largely fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of global economy and contributed towards one of the worst recessions in history.

To combat the global spread of the coronavirus, governments have been forced to emplace various measures to control the virus. A number of these measures, however, have aided organised cyber criminals who have seized the opportunity to exploit the pandemic.

In light of this, the national crime agency has highlighted a significant rise in cyber crime in 2020, with the rapid migration to cloud computing contributing to such rises. Trending cyber threats in 2020 include: Ransomware, Ransomware as a Service and Phishing scams. KryptoKloud has experienced first-hand an upsurge in sophisticated cyber attacks and shares how these attacks are impacting businesses across the nation.

Ransomware Attack Stats

Why has Ransomware increased?

The death of the office 

2020 saw the death of office-based work and the adoption of home working. With businesses extending the traditional network perimeter to unsecure homeworking locations, companies are becoming more vulnerable and susceptible to cyber attacks.

Homeworking has exposed new access points for cyber criminals to enter corporate systems. Employees using remote computers connect to corporate networks to access work and communicate with colleagues. These devices are typically old, outdated and lack the security hardware and software needed to mitigate a cyber attack. Cyber criminals are therefore using the global pandemic to their advantage

Businesses will pay

Ransomware is now a £10 billion industry with the average cost of an attack being £95,0001. The CyberEdge group stated that 19% of reported ransomware attacks resulted in a form of payment towards cyber criminals2. In recent months, Garmin was hit by a sophisticated attack which took all services offline.

In recent months ransomware attacks have gripped the nation and become headline news across the world.

Ransomware is not new, however, is becoming a threat to all businesses in the 21st century. The knock-on effects of a ransomware attack can be substantial, ranging from large financial loses to reputational damage. 2020 news headlines have been dominated by an increase in cyber attacks which have impacted: Governments, Technology, Education and Tourism, to name a few. News headlines to dominate UK news in Q4 included:

  • “Hackers demand 34.7 million in bitcoin after ransomware attack on Focconn”
  • “Ransomware halts classes for 115,000 Baltimore pupils”
  • “Garmin begins recovery from ransomware attack”
  • “Newcastle University students’ data held to ransom”
  • “Travelex down to pen and paper as it suffers a ransomware attack”

Ransomware attacks have increased 715% in 2020, a sharp rise compared to 2019 figures. This sharp surge in ransomware attacks can be directly linked to the global pandemic and the adoption on ransomware as a service.

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2020 The Year Of Cybercrime

2020 Cyber Trends