3 Numbers That Convinced Me Ransomware Is a Real Threat

We’ve all heard plenty about the rising threat of ransomware. It’s a type of malware that targets your critical data and systems for extortion. 

You can read the news on any given day and learn about the latest victim – from hospitals to hearing aid manufacturers to state and local governments. 

Of course, ransomware is already a concern for your organization – much the same way all the other cybersecurity threats are a concern. Data breaches, credential stuffing, phishing exploits, DDoS attacks, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, malware injection, cryptomining, SQL injection, man-in-the-middle attacks, cross-site scripting – the list goes on and on. 

It all becomes mind-numbing. In a world where new attacks and new attackers are continually expanding, it’s hard to pay attention to any one threat.

But three statistics I recently read about ransomware really jarred me, and I think it’s time to shine a spotlight on this particular threat. Here are the stats:


  • Gartner reports that there’s been a 700% increase in ransomware since 2016. 
  • Fortinet estimated that the cost of ransomware in 2019 alone would be $11.5B.
  • Sophos says 75% of companies infected with ransomware thought they had all their security systems in place to protect themselves!


Individually, these stats are eye-opening. Collectively, they’re an emergency alarm. 

Ransomware is not something that just happens to other companies. It is not something that most current security measures are equipped to handle. And a successful ransomware attack is not something that represents just a minor inconvenience to your business. 

According to Tech Transformers, ransomware attacks cost smaller companies an average of $713,000 per incident when you factor in the cost of downtime and lost business due to reputational harm. Ransomware payouts range from thousands to millions of dollars to get your data and systems back – and even if you pay, there’s no guarantee everything will be intact or that you won’t be targeted again.

In this blog post series, I’ll delve into ransomware from several perspectives, including how attackers get in and get paid, what makes an ideal target, and how you can protect your business against it.

In the meantime, watch our webinar, “Secrets to Recovering from Ransomware and Disasters with VMware Cloud on AWS” with Sazzala Reddy, Datrium’s CTO and Co-Founder, and Jason Crandall who is a Staff Cloud Solution Engineer at VMware.