IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Average ransomware costs have more than doubled in 2021

The average cost of recovery from attacks is now close to $2 million

The average cost for companies to recover from a ransomware attack has doubled over the last year, according to a new report. 

In Sophos’ State of Ransomware Report 2021, researchers found the average ransomware recovery costs for businesses have more than doubled in the past year, rising from $761,106 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021. These costs include the ransom, plus downtime, people time, device cost, network cost, lost opportunity, and other associated financial loss.

The average ransom paid was $170,404 in 2021. Of those surveyed, $3.2 million was the highest payment, and the most common payment was $10,000. The research found that 10 organizations paid ransoms of $1 million or more.

Only 8% of organizations surveyed around the world received all their data back after paying the ransom. On average, hackers restored only 65% of the encrypted data after receiving the ransom payment.

The number of organizations that paid the ransom increased from 26% in 2020 to 32% in 2021.

The survey polled 5,400 IT decision-makers at midsize organizations in 30 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The research found the US is a popular target among cyber criminals, as just over half (51%) of US respondents reported ransomware attacks last year. The US’ popularity among hackers is due to the perceived potential of higher ransom payments.

With more organizations able to stop attacks before hackers can encrypt the data, the percentage of successful encryptions fell from 73% to 54% in the past year. This drop indicates anti-ransomware technology adoption is paying off, researchers said.

Related Resource

The business guide to ransomware

Everything you need to know to keep your company afloat

The business guide to ransomware - whitepaper from DattoFree download

Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at Sophos, said the apparent decline in the number of organizations hit by ransomware is good news. Still, it is tempered by the fact that this is likely to reflect, at least in part, changes in attacker behaviors.

“We’ve seen attackers move from larger scale, generic, automated attacks to more targeted attacks that include human hands-on-keyboard hacking. While the overall number of attacks is lower, as a result, our experience shows that the potential for damage from these more advanced and complex targeted attacks is much higher. Such attacks are also harder to recover from, and we see this reflected in the survey in the doubling of overall remediation costs,” he said.

Featured Resources

AI for customer service

IBM Watson Assistant solves customer problems the first time

View now

Solve cyber resilience challenges with storage solutions

Fundamental capabilities of cyber-resilient IT infrastructure

Free Download

IBM FlashSystem 5000 and 5200 for mid-market enterprises

Manage rapid data growth within limited IT budgets

Free download

Leverage automated APM to accelerate CI/CD and boost application performance

Constant change to meet fast-evolving application functionality

Free Download

Recommended

2022 IBM's Security X-Force cloud threat landscape report
Whitepaper

2022 IBM's Security X-Force cloud threat landscape report

22 Nov 2022
2022 Magic quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Whitepaper

2022 Magic quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

22 Nov 2022
Seven realities facing SMBs as they enter a future of increased cyber threats
Whitepaper

Seven realities facing SMBs as they enter a future of increased cyber threats

21 Nov 2022
Revealed: The top 200 most common passwords of 2022
cyber security

Revealed: The top 200 most common passwords of 2022

17 Nov 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

15 Nov 2022
The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

14 Nov 2022
Windows users now able to run Linux apps and distros natively
Microsoft Windows

Windows users now able to run Linux apps and distros natively

24 Nov 2022