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Ransomware attacks on retailers rose 75% in 2021 | #malware | #ransomware | #hacking | #aihp


Retailers are fast becoming the favorite targets for ransomware criminals, with two out of three companies in the sector being attacked last year, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Sophos. Attackers were able to successfully encrypt files in more than half of the attacks.

Of 422 retail IT professionals surveyed internationally, 77% said their organizations were hit by ransomware attacks in 2021. This is a 75% rise from 2020, the Sophos report noted.

“Retailers continue to suffer one of the highest rates of ransomware attacks of any industry. With more than three in four suffering an attack in 2021, it certainly brings a ransomware incident into the category of when, not if,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at Sophos, in a statement accompanying the report.  

Sophos defines “hit by ransomware” as one or more devices being impacted, but not necessarily encrypted. Ransomware criminals were able to encrypt files of target retailers in 68% of the cases. Only 28% of retail respondents said they were able to stop attacks before data could be encrypted. 

“In Sophos’ experience, the organizations that are successfully defending against these attacks are not just using layered defenses, they are augmenting security with humans trained to monitor for breaches and actively hunting down threats that bypass the perimeter before they can detonate into even bigger problems,” Wisniewski said.

A large portion of the industry needs to improve its security posture with the right tools and appropriately trained security experts to help manage their efforts, he said.  

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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