There was a notable increase in ransomware incidents in February and March after a period of relative stagnation in 2022, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Black Kite Research tallied 410 organizations that were victims of ransomware in March 2023, compared to 208 in April 2022. The Boston-based cybersecurity rating service based its report on an analysis of 2,708 victims between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.
The report said various external factors contributed to a drop in last year’s attack rate, including international sanctions in response to Russia’s Ukraine invasion, which hampered the ransom movement.
However, in February and March of this year, new ransomware groups emerged at the same time as there were mass ransomware attacks carried out by major players, the Ransomware Threat Landscape Report said.
The analysis found that manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical service organizations were the hardest hit, along with nearly 35% of all ransomware victims.
Educational services, retail, and healthcare and social service organizations accounted for approximately 17% of ransomware victims.
Black Kite said its analysis indicates that education services, wholesale management and remediation services are emerging as trending industries for ransomware attacks.
The report says ransomware groups often target companies with annual revenues of about $50 million to $60 million “because they may have the financial resources to pay ransomware but potentially lack the robust security measures of larger companies.”
The study said the United States is the top country targeted, accounting for 43% of all victim organizations.