The Cost of Ransomware in 2019: Payments Are $41,000 On Average

According to a recent report by Coveware, an industry expert in ransomware attacks, the average ransom payment went up by 13% to $41,198 in the third business quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter’s $36,295.1 The months of July, August, and September saw victims of ransomware attacks being forced to pay higher ransoms.

However, a growing reluctance among victims to pay cyber criminals has led to the rate of increase to plateau. More companies are finding new ways to restore and recreate their data, instead of paying. Still, threat actors continue to be highly active, rotating through different ransomware kits such as Ryuk and Hermes variants like DopplePaymer and I-Encrypt.

Due to the lower overall payment rate as enterprises find alternatives to payment, cyber criminals are willing to invest in significantly more time and expense for the chance of a higher payoff. They are targeting larger enterprises, bigger managed service providers, and more public sector organizations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a public service announcement warning about these high-impact ransomware attacks in early October.2

What Is a Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on a victim’s computer or server, making them inaccessible and unusable. Soon after, the cybercriminal responsible for the attack will demand a ransom payment in exchange for a key that will decrypt the victim’s files and restore access to their data.

While the number of ransomware campaigns has declined, the cost of ransomware damage has increased. Threat actors targeting higher profile victims and demanding million-dollar plus demands is one of the driving factors to the increasing ransom payment average.

Other Ransomware Damage Costs

In addition to ransom payments, the high cost of ransomware is caused by multiple factors including an extended period of downtime. According to the Q3 report by Coveware, average downtime also rose to 12.1 days from the average 9.6-day downtime characterizing the second business quarter.1 The longer it takes to restore an enterprise’s data and network, the higher the downtime which translates to bigger financial losses.



  1. Coveware – Q3 Ransomware Marketplace Report


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