Ransomware has been a plague on networks and systems for several years. But despite its longevity, its only getting more pervasive and difficult for security teams to mitigate.

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Over the last several years, hackers have turned their sights from individual users to organizations as their primary target. The Sophos 2021 Threat Report finds in the last quarter researchers reviewed, the average ransom payout is up 21%. The average payout is now the equivalent of $233,817.30. A year ago, the average payout was $84,116.

“Because it’s focused on business, the volume of the ransom has gone through the roof,” says Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at Sophos. “I think that is what is misunderstood about the impact it’s having. We’re mostly hearing about the headlines with the million-dollar ransoms. What we’re not hearing about is the $100,000 and $150,000 ransoms that are happening much more frequently.”

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