What Data is Stolen During a Ransomware Attack?

You can’t check the news without seeing the word “ransomware” plastered across the screen. It’s a major threat for businesses in just about any industry and of any size. In order to keep your business safe both now and into the future, you’ll have to implement adequate security measures that can put a stop to these types of threats. Of course, it’s easier said than done, especially when certain data is more likely to be targeted than others.

The Definition of Ransomware

Ransomware is an extremely dangerous threat that can encrypt files on the victim’s computer or network. The hacker then uses the encryption to extort payment from the victims in exchange for the decryption key. Recent variants of ransomware also threaten to release the stolen data online, which is notable because victims cannot simply restore a data backup to get around the encryption. These types of double-extortion tactics can be devastating due to data privacy and compliance laws.

Ransomware Statistics

It helps to know what types of data are most frequently targeted by ransomware, which is what the following report by Rapid7 aimed to showcase. According to Rapid7’s analysis, the following types of data are most likely to be targeted by ransomware attacks, the bulk of which was comprised of two specific industries:

  • Financial services
    • Customer data (82%)
    • Employee personally identifiable information (59%)
  • Healthcare industries
    • Financial information (71%)
    • Customer and patient information (58%)

You can see the trend here; most data stolen by hackers is going to be valuable information that can be sold on the online black market, and it is often data which can be used to commit fraud or impersonate users through their personally identifiable information and financial credentials. Granted, this might be the most targeted data, but this does not mean that other types of data are not equally as valuable to hackers. All data can be valuable in some capacity, so you should treat it as such.

Is Your Business Prepared?

It’s incredibly important that you protect your business in any way possible from these types of cyberattacks. One of the best ways you can do so is with a data backup system utilizing multiple off-site locations, including the cloud and secure data centers. The others require a more comprehensive and more proactive approach. The aim here is to address security issues and challenges before they become data breaches.

Nexela wants to help you make it happen. To learn more, reach out to us at (215) 525-3223.