Angelica Mari is a Brazil-based technology journalist. She started working at age 15 as a computer instructor and started writing professionally about technology two years later.
According to new research, Brazilian businesses have seen a significant rise in ransomware attacks in 2021, but most firms are not paying to recover their data.
According to the study, The State of Ransomware 2022 by cybersecurity company Sophos, 55% of the 200 surveyed companies in Brazil were targeted by ransomware attacks last year. In comparison, the percentage reported in 2020 was 38%.
On the other hand, the percentage of companies that ransomware attacks in Brazil have targeted is still lower than the global average. According to the study, which polled 5,600 executives across 31 countries, 66% of firms reported they had been victims of ransomware attacks. In 2020, the global percentage was 37%.
The study noted that only 40% of the Brazilian firms surveyed chose to pay malicious actors for ransom after being attacked. However, the companies that opted to do so only managed to get about 55% of data that had been stolen and encrypted back.
According to the research, in Brazil, the average ransom payment was $211.790. This compares with the global average of $812.360, a five-fold increase on last year’s figures.
When it comes to the methods most commonly used to restore data after a ransomware attack, some 73% of Brazilian companies cited backups as the main strategy.
According to a separate report published by IBM on security threats in Latin America published in February, manufacturing companies were the most attacked sector in Brazil, representing 20% of the ransomware attacks in 2021.
The study noted that this reflects a global trend, as cybercriminals found a vantage point in the critical role manufacturing organizations plays in global supply chains to pressure victims to pay ransoms.
Accounting for 17% of the ransomware attacks in 2021, the mining sector is the second most targeted by ransomware gangs. The professional services, energy and retail segments account for 15% of attacks, following manufacturing and mining as Brazil’s most targeted sectors.
With over 33 million intrusion attempts in 2021, Brazil is only behind the US, Germany and the UK in terms of ransomware attacks, according to a cyber threats report released by SonicWall earlier this year. In 2020, Brazil ranked ninth in the same ranking, with 3,8 million ransomware attacks.
Despite the worrying scenario of 2021, other research suggests Brazil has seen an an improvement in its data breach situation in the first few months of this year, with an 80% decrease in the number of cases seen in the first quarter of 2022, according to new research by cybersecurity company Surfshark.
The study noted that over 285,000 Brazilians were breached between January and March, placing Brazil in the 12th position in the ranking of most breached countries globally. That compares with the situation in the last quarter of 2021, when Brazil occupied the fifth spot on the list.