Ransomware damage costs expected to reach $11.5B by 2019

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Cybersecurity Ventures estimates ransomware damages will cost the global economy $5 billion by the end of the year and rise to nearly $11.5 billion in 2019.

The Ransomware Damage Report, published by the cybersecurity research and market intelligence company, notes this is a 15-fold increase from 2015, when ransomware cost companies around the world $325 million.

While attackers often request ransoms in bitcoin, the percentage of businesses paying these demands to reclaim their stolen data is declining, even as total payout figures rise. The damage costs include downtime, lost productivity and post-attack disruption, as well as forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hostage data and systems, harm to the company's reputation and increased employee training in response to the attack. 

The report also predicts ransomware will strike a business every 14 seconds by the end of 2019 — excluding attacks on individuals that occur more frequently. This is why training employees and IT pros, Cyber Ventures argues, is the best defense.

"Training employees how to recognize and defend against cyber attacks is the most under spent sector of the cybersecurity industry — and yet it holds out the greatest hope for combating ransomware attacks," Steve Morgan, founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Ventures, wrote in the report.

More articles on cybersecurity: 

Hacker with possible ties to The Dark Overlord jailed for 3 years

Spearphishing attack at Medical College of Wisconsin exposes 9.5k patient records

IT, cybersecurity talent shortages require healthcare to rethink their hiring strategies

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