Barracuda Networks has published its fifth annual Threat Spotlight on ransomware. The new report looks at ransomware attack patterns that occurred between August 2022 and July 2023.
Barracuda researchers analysed 175 publicly reported successful ransomware attacks across the world between August 2022 and July 2023, and in the primary categories Barracuda has been tracking — municipalities, healthcare and education — the number of reported attacks have all doubled since last year and more than quadrupled since 2021.
In its report, Barracuda noted that while successful ransomware attacks targeting infrastructure-related industries are lower in volume compared to the top three sectors, these industries also experienced more than twice the number of attacks compared to last year.
The analysis also revealed similar patterns of escalation in other industries, particularly ransomware attacks on software businesses.
In the past 12 months, Barracuda’s SOC-as-a-service team observed the following types of cybersecurity incidents: business email compromise (BEC), ransomware, malware infection, insider threat, identity theft, and data leakage. Ransomware accounted for 27.3% of incidents, second only to BEC (36.4%).
This year also, Barracuda researchers also took a closer look the impact of generative AI tactics on ransomware attacks, looking at ways cybercriminals can use these capabilities to strike faster and with better accuracy.
“The number of successful ransomware attacks continues to climb and shows no signs of slowing down,” said Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda.
Concluding, Shi added: “Recent advances in generative AI will only help ransomware gangs increase the rate of attack with more effective cyber weapons. That’s why it’s essential for organizations to have tools in place to detect and prevent attacks, but also to be resilient and prepared to recover from an attack.”