Nearly 1 in 5 ransomware attacks results in a lawsuit | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A new study from Comparitech finds that around a fifth of ransomware attacks in the US led to a lawsuit in 2023.

It shows that 355 lawsuits were filed following 3,002 ransomware attacks. Of these 228 have been completed and 134 were successful — that is they led to a data breach settlement, resulted in the company being fined for failing to safeguard systems and/or data, or were settled out of court.

In 112 cases, settlement figures are available. These totaled over $245 million with the average settlement being $2.2 million. 2023 saw an average settlement figure of nearly $2.1 million.

Rebecca Moody, head of data research at Comparitech, writes on the company’s blog. “When we look at the success of these lawsuits by year, we can also see a rise in the number of cases that are dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiff or are settled out of court. For example, in 2020, two out of 39 completed lawsuits (five percent) were dismissed voluntarily, while this rose to 24 out of 31 (77 percent) in 2023.”

Healthcare has seen the highest percentage of lawsuits filed following ransomware attacks. Since 2018, 111 out of 521 attacks (21 percent) have seen lawsuits being filed. Of these 43 percent have been successful, that’s 87 percent when including voluntary dismissals.

The education sector has the lowest success rate at 20 percent. While in construction and food suits are 100 percent successful these sectors have the lowest number of cases filed.

The utilities sector has seen only one successful suit. Interestingly three claims against Colonial Pipeline following the 2021 attack have all been dismissed by the Federal Court in Georgia.

One of the primary reasons for lawsuits being filed is data breaches. 283.3 million records were involved in the 355 attacks where lawsuits have been filed. These records account for around 80 percent of the records impacted across all confirmed ransomware attacks since 2018.

You can get much more detail about the findings on the Comparitech blog.

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