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Ransomware damages predicted to reach $1 billion annually

Robert Herjavec, Founder & CEO of global Managed Services provider Herjavec Group, confirms the 2016 Cybercrime Report prediction that ransomware damages and related costs will reach $1 billion annually by the end of 2016. This staggering statistic, highlighted in Herjavec Group and Cybersecurity Ventures’ latest report, “Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation,” ( reinforces the cybercrime epidemic impacting enterprises and governments worldwide.

Ransomware is a malware that infects computers and restricts their access to files, often threatening permanent data destruction unless a ransom is paid. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) confirmed that in 2015, over $24 million was surrendered to attackers in approximately 2500 ransomware cases. This year, there has been a significant increase in phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks targeting various sectors including the healthcare, retail and energy/utilities industries.

In Q1 of 2016 alone, ransomware attacks cost victims $209 million, leading Cybersecurity Ventures and Herjavec Group to align on the $1 billion ransomware cost estimate by year’s end. Herjavec Group believes that the rise of crypto currencies has drastically impacted cybercrime activity in 2016 and unfortunately without fear of retribution, these types of crimes will inevitably continue. 

“There is no effective law enforcement for financial cybercrime today,” said Robert Herjavec. “Organizations need to increase their defenses and become more resilient because there is no end state in sight for this epidemic. So long as cybercriminals can get paid, with limited risk, attacks will continue. The challenge remains that large enterprises aren’t nearly as agile as their attackers.”

In addition to detailing the surge in ransomware attacks, the report discusses the contributing factors to the predicted rise in global cybercrime costs (from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion in 2021) including: increased nation state cyber threats, the growing attack surface, the cybersecurity workforce shortage, and the lack of cybersecurity awareness training for employees.

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