Paying For Ransomware Only Drives Up Ransom Costs


Ransomware continues to evolve, employing more complex tactics to solidify itself as an increasingly nefarious foe for its victims. Unfortunately, ransom victims that pay the ransom are also playing a key role within the ransomware economy, inadvertently paying for future attacks and driving up the costs of future ransoms.  

Last week, TechRadar referenced research from Trend Micro and Waratah Analytics, which looked to better understand how ransomware groups operate.  

Key Findings 

The research found that most victims of ransom attacks don’t pay the ransom—the rate of ransom payment falls just below 10%. However, the victims that do pay, end up paying more.  

This means that the victim is funding the operational cost of the ransomware group, which varies, depending on what business model they employ. And typically, larger corporations are the ones showing a willingness to pay, especially due to their financial capability.  

While paying the ransom does translate into getting the data back, albeit slowly, there are other costs associated with ransomware attacks. For example, there are restoration costs to deal with after paying the ransom, not to mention the credit monitoring costs, the public relations costs, and the incidence response costs.  

And it doesn’t end there. Under most jurisdictions, companies can still be held liable for the effects of the data breach. The bottom line is that paying the ransom will only drive up the total cost of the incident. 

What’s Next in the Ransomware Landscape? 

The remaining 90% of those who don’t pay the ransom, are in desperate need of restoration services. In situations such as these, business must look into recovering their credentials, processes, data, and share value post attack.   

Another powerful ally that companies can turn to is a very niche part of the ransomware landscape: ransom mitigation specialists. Not only can they help lower the ransom payment, but they can also lessen the likelihood of an organization being attacked again.  

In the “Data Loss Prevention Against Ransomware” report, Tracy Kitten, Director of Fraud & Security at Javelin Strategy & Research, discusses why paying a ransom is only increasing risk for businesses and their customers. The report also identifies what specific vulnerabilities ransomware attackers are targeting.  


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