Banking and finance ‘most popular ransomware target’

Banking and financial services were the most popular target for ransomware attacks in the third quarter of 2021.

The research, from cybersecurity company Trellix, found that the industry was more prone to ransomware attacks than the utility industry, which it said accounted for 20 per cent of ransomware attack detections, and the retail industry, which it found accounted for 16 per cent of detections.

The UK accounted for a relatively small percentage of the ransomware attack detections worldwide, just 4 per cent according to Trellix.

The US was the worst impacted country in terms of attacks, with 34 per cent of the worldwide total ransomware attack detections.

The US was followed by Turkey, Germany, and Israel in terms of ransomware detections, which accounted for 12 per cent, 11 per cent, and 8 per cent, respectively.

The Sodinokibi strain was the most prevalent ransomware family detected in Q3 2021 according to Trellix, accounting for 41 per cent of detections, followed by the DarkSide and Egregor strains which accounted for 14 per cent and 13 per cent of detections, respectively.

Ransomware is not the only cyber threat posing a risk to financial services according to Trellix.

Banking and finance also represented 37 per cent of overall advanced persistent threat (APT) detections according to the company’s research.

“Despite the financial, utilities, and retail sectors accounting for nearly 60 per cent of all ransomware detections, no business or industry is safe from attack, and these findings should act as a reminder of this,” said Fabien Rech, Trellix EMEA vice president at Trellix. “As cyber criminals adapt their methods to target the most sensitive data and services, organisations must shore up their defences to mitigate further threats.

“To do this, businesses must deploy a security strategy that includes a living platform that can learn and adapt defences based on the threat. This platform generates and prioritises comprehensive threat insights from both outside and inside the company to adaptively strengthen detection, and it responds in real time to active threats.

“As the threat of ransomware continues to grow, businesses must rely on technology that moves as quickly as the cyber criminals and can adapt in real time to get ahead.”

He added: “Unfortunately, failing to take this approach only means businesses open themselves up to an attack.”

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