Ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2016 and will double again in 2017, according to a report issued on Monday by Beazley, a provider of data breach response insurance.
The "Beazley Breach Insights - January 2017," found that enterprises are most at risk after being hit with an IT system freeze, at the end of financial quarters and during hectic shopping periods.
Further, the increasing sophistication of the attacks, including continually evolving variants, enable the coders behind the incursions to survey network systems to choose the most critical assets to lock down and to increase their ransom demands based on the value of files they encrypt.
Based on analysis of nearly two thousand data breaches that Beazley's Breach Response division managed on behalf of clients in 2016, the study determined that there were four times as many ransomware attacks in 2016 compared to the previous year.
"The ease and effectiveness of these attacks portend an even larger increase in 2017 with Beazley projecting these attacks to double again in 2017," the study found.