Stylized representation of a ransomeware message that says files have been envrypted (Photo: Shutterstock)

Ransomware attacks have increased 350% since 2018, according to cybersecurity firm Purplesec. The global cost of these attacks grew from $8 billion in 2018, to $20 billion in 2020. The average ransom demanded by hackers exceeded $8,000 in 2020, up from $4,300 in 2018. However, Purplesec’s report notes that the greater cost to businesses is in time lost while they secure remaining files and networks, and try to recover lost work.

The report found that downtime costs were 23 times greater than the average ransom requested in 2019. In 2020, businesses lost an average $283,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime, up from almost $47,000 in 2018.

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