Cybersecurity firm Trustlook has conducted some new research that shows it’s not only businesses that are threatened by ransomware. There is an increase in regular users being targeted by ransomware and it seems many of them are paying the ransom fees. Cybersecurity is becoming an increasing concern for regular users as hackers and thieves are targeting what Trustlook calls “low-hanging fruit.” Regular consumers are easier targets and have fewer resources than major companies in combating criminals and as a result are more likely to just comply with their demands.
Most users are completely unaware of the threat posed by ransomware attacks and are not prepared to handle them. Trustlook’s research shows that this lack of awareness and apathy is resulting in insufficient action taken to protect devices and data. 48% of consumers are not worried about becoming a victim of a ransomware attack, and only 7% of non-impacted consumers say they would pay the ransom if they were hacked. Other findings include:
- 17% of consumers have been infected with ransomware
- 38% of affected consumers paid the ransom
- $100-$500 was the dollar range of ransomware payouts by consumers
- 45% of consumers have not heard of ransomware
- 23% of consumers do not backup the files on their computer or mobile device
Ransomware has become big business for some hackers and is usually pushed via email phishing scams. Bitcoin has also pushed the rise of ransomware since it’s very easy to collect and usually harder to track. Trustlook has put together an infographic that explains how ransomware works and some of the ways you can go about protecting yourself from falling victim.
Trustlook has the following advice for consumers who are worried that they might become a victim of ransomware. “Backup your data to multiple devices, and to at least one device that is not connected to a network,” says Allan Zhang, co-founder and CEO of Trustlook. “Also, be cautious of emails by checking the sender’s email address before clicking any link.”