Ransomware Attacks Have Doubled Over the Past Two Years, According to Akamai Research

Monday, February 12th, 2024

 Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM), the cloud company that powers and protects life online, today released a new report highlighting the increase in ransomware, the adoption of Zero Trust, and the benefits of microsegmentation. The State of Segmentation 2023 found that organizations surveyed experienced an average of 86 ransomware attacks in the past 12 months, up from an average of 43 annual attacks two years ago. Security organizations have responded to the recent rise in attacks by implementing Zero Trust and microsegmentation strategies. Nearly all (99%) of respondents who reported that they have deployed some form of segmentation have also deployed a Zero Trust security framework.

The report is based on input from 1,200 IT and security decision-makers from around the world. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that microsegmentation is an effective tool to keep assets protected, but deployment was lower than expected, with only 30% of organizations segmenting across more than two business critical areas. Globally, the top obstacles to deploying microsegmentation are a lack of skills/expertise (39%) followed by increased performance bottlenecks (39%), and compliance requirements (38%). Almost all of those surveyed, no matter the sector, industry, or country, reported the same obstacles to slightly different extents.

Despite slow deployments, organizations that have persevered and implemented a microsegmentation strategy across six mission-critical areas reported recovering from an attack in an average of only four hours. That's 11 hours faster than organizations that have only segmented across one critical area, underscoring the effectiveness of a Zero Trust strategy that utilizes microsegmentation.

"The cybersecurity landscape is always evolving and shifting based on the latest threat methodologies developed by cybercriminals. Whether it's defending against ransomware, new zero-days, or sophisticated phishing attacks, it's vital that organizations reevaluate their risks to protect their critical assets," said Steve Winterfeld, Advisory CISO at Akamai. "One of the key ways to do this is with a Zero Trust architecture. That means utilizing a combination of Zero Trust Network Access and microsegmentation integrated as part of a clear security strategy supported by access to staff and partners with necessary skills."

Other findings from the report include:

  • Of all respondents, 93% claimed that microsegmentation is critical to help thwart ransomware attacks.

  • Network downtime (44%), data loss (42%), and brand/reputation damage (39%) were the most common issues impacting organizations after a ransomware attack.

  • The U.S. and Germany reported the most ransomware attacks over the past year, with the U.S. at 115 and Germanyat 110.

  • India leads the way in segmentation, with 58% of organizations reporting more than two assets/areas being segmented, followed by Mexico with 48% and Japan with 32%.

Read the full report.