Global Ransomware Costs Predicted to Reach $265 Billion by 2031

by | August 9, 2021 | Cybersecurity News

Ransomware already keeps companies and security experts on edge because of the colossal damages that it leaves behind. However, ransomware costs are only expected to grow over the next decade.

Ransom payments could cost victims a total of $265 billion by 2031. The estimate is based on the premise that the financial damages will increase by 30% every year over the next 10 years.

Keep reading to discover what are the factors that determine this grim forecast.

Ransomware Costs’ Growth Trend

In 2015, Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that ransomware costs would reach $325 million. The firm’s predictions grew from there, indicating an increasing cost in related damages.

Two years later, in 2017, the firm predicted that ransomware would cost organizations and individuals affected $5 billion – 15 times more than its previous prediction in 2015. The forecast only got more unfortunate, and costs were expected to grow to $20 billion for 2021 – 57 times what it was in 2015.

Cybersecurity Ventures also noted that more frequent ransomware attacks would play an important role in the evolution of the costs and that ransomware attacks are expected to hit a business, consumer, or device every 2 seconds by 2031. The prediction is much worse than the already unfortunate current situation – ransomware hits every 11 seconds.

Recent High Cost Ransomware Attacks Only Consolidate the Predictions

Recent ransomware attacks paint a threat landscape that supports these estimates.

Victims are paying more in the aftermath of an attack. For example, in May this year, the US insurance company CNA paid a jaw-dropping $40 million ransom – the largest ransomware payment ever reported.

The attack took place on March 21st, and it blocked any and all access to the company’s network and stole its data. CNA has stated that it had been a “sophisticated cybersecurity attack” that had massively “impacted certain CNA systems.”

In response to the incident, the insurance company called in outside experts and law enforcement, launching an investigation regarding the attack.

The attack targeting CNA came shortly after the Colonial Pipeline incident when the largest fuel provider in the US suffered major operations disruption and paid hackers $4.4 million in exchange for a decryptor that proved to be too slow.

Let’s not forget about the massive amounts that victims have to spend to recover. After a ransomware attack, the average cost of recovering more than doubled from $761,106 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021.

Threat actors also seem to be getting more creative. For example, the triple extortion technique is gaining popularity amongst hackers, who use it to prey upon the customers of an organization that fell victim to ransomware. Another common strategy is double encryption, encrypting a victim’s apps and systems, making recovery much more difficult and increasing payouts.

How To Prevent Ransomware Attacks

The discoveries presented above only add to the urgency of the need for businesses and organizations to better defend themselves against ransomware attacks. They can achieve this partly by training their employees on cybersecurity matters and especially phishing attacks, and partly by adopting more rigorous security measures, such as implementing multi-factor authentication and user behavior analytics.

Most ransomware attacks have one thing in common: their infectious vector – phishing emails.

The best way for your employees to learn to spot and deflect a phishing attempt is to experience one. Mistakes are really the best teachers. Employees will be exposed to real-life simulations. The purpose of these simulated attacks is to help your staff develop efficient defense mechanisms and acquire valuable decision-making skills.

Here at ATTACK Simulator, we put ourselves in the attacker’s shoes as we believe that understanding their thinking and actions is vital in designing an accurate simulation.

Here are a few perks of our comprehensive approach to phishing simulations:

  • Automated attack simulation – we simulate all kinds of cyberattacks.
  • Real-life scenarios – we evaluate users’ vulnerability to give company or pesonal data away using realistic web-pages.
  • User behaviour analysis – we gather user data and compile it in extensive reports to give you a detailed picture of your employees’ security awareness level.
  • Malicious file replicas – our emails contain malware file repilcas, to make the simulation as realistic as it can be.
  • Interactive lessons – if employees fail to recognize our traps and fall into one, they will discover lessons on the best security practices.

Choose to be safe and request your quote for our comprehensive Security Awareness Training program today.


Security Intelligence

Cybersecurity Ventures


Feature Image: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

There’s no reason to postpone training your employees

Get a quote based on your organization’s needs and start building a strong cyber security infrastructure today.