Cyber criminals are making less money from ransomware attacks as victims increasingly refuse to pay their ransom demands.
Analysis by cryptocurrency and blockchain company Chainanalysis suggests that ransom payments dropped by 40% last year, declining from $765.6 million in 2021 to $456.8 million in 2022.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity researchers at Coveware have also suggested that the number of victims paying ransoms has declined significantly in recent years, dropping from 76% of victims in 2019, down to 41% of victims in 2022.
The figures don’t and can’t account for every ransomware attack but researchers suggest that the pattern is clear — fewer victims are giving into extortion demands and ransomware gangs are, overall, finding it harder to monetize attacks.
But that doesn’t mean ransomware attacks pose any less of a threat; cyber criminals are still hacking into networks and encrypting data, causing disruption to businesses, infrastructure, and everyday services — and even if victims aren’t giving into ransom demands, ransomware gangs are still leaking stolen information in retaliation.
According to Coveware, there are several reasons why the number of ransom payments has declined.
The first is that organizations are getting better at cybersecurity strategy and incident response planning, investing in protections such as backup software and hardware, so in the event of falling victim to a ransomware attack, there’s a means of retrieving the data without giving into the extortion demands.
And if the company has invested in a good cybersecurity