The global Ransomware protection market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate CAGR of 14.50% to attain a market size of US $ 33.320 billion by the end of the analysis period, 2026. The market was valued at US$ 12.875 billion in 2019. Ransomware is a branch of malware under which the victim’s files are encrypted and robbed by the hacker. The attacker then demands ransom for the restoration of these files back to the victim’s computer. This ransom may range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, which is paid in form of cryptocurrency to the criminals, particularly in Bitcoins. Ransomware protection is security software that warns the user against undesirable or fraud links, the common ways through which the attackers can get access to the user’s computer.
The prime reason for boosting the demand for the ransomware protection market is surging cybercrime with rising digitalization. The data stolen contains sensitive and financial data about the victim, having the potential to cause more damage. And at the time the victim is unable to report it to authority, giving an advantage to the attackers. However, low adoption may constrain market growth.
Ransomware: How It Works and Who Are the Targets
Phishing scams are the most common vector through which ransomware can get access to the victim’s computers. Phishing scams are masqueraded files, which enter a victim’s computer through emails. The unaware victim downloads the files to open it but instead loses all the data to the attacker. Verizon Data Breach Index Report, published in 2018, reported that financial pretexting and phishing caused 98% of incidents caused by ransomware. Emails were discovered to be the cause of the attack in 96% of these cases. Other ways are following replicated links or websites or allowing misguided access, giving the authority to the hacker. Aggressive ransomware, such as NotPetya, targets security holes and exploits them to infect the computers, without the need to trick the victim. On getting access to the computer’s files and folders, the hacker may encrypt some crucial or all files of the victim which can be decrypted only using a mathematical key known to the attacker. At times, the attackers pretend to be some official authority who shuts the victim’s computer owing to the usage of pirated software or undesirable websites. The attackers then ask for ransom as fine, making the victim less likely to report to actual authority. However, these attackers demand payment in form of Bitcoin, for safer passage of ransom payment. Further, the attacker may threaten the victim to publicize sensitive data, known as leakware or doxware if the ransom is not paid.
Based on the end-user industry, the ransomware protection market is segmented into BFSI, communication and technology, retail, government, media and entertainment, and others. The main targets of attackers are either institutions with less security, such as universities and other educational institutes, who have a smaller security team, or the authorities who are more likely to pay the ransom quickly to secure their data. Government institutes and medical agencies lie in the latter category. These authorities carry sensitive data which have the potential to severely impact the economy if it falls in the wrong hand. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), for instance, became a victim of a ransom attack by ransomware “SYNack”, in March 2021. The attacker affected the application and database servers hosted on Cloud, along with the local server hosted at MIDC HQ. Hospitals and medical organizations are the third prime victims of ransomware attacks.
As per data provides by IDG Communications, 45% of ransom attackers target hospitals, while 85% of malware in the medical industry are ransomware. SamSam, from 2015 onwards ransomware, primarily targets hospital organizations. This ransomware was successful in collecting the US $1 million in the first quarter of 2018 by targeting the medical industry. Ryuk is another attacker, which first appeared in 2018, and targets medical organizations. The financial sector is the second most targeted industry with 90% of institutes targeted by ransomware in 2017. Of all, ransomware resulted in an estimated US $5 billion loss in 2017, in terms of ransom collected and economic loss during the recovery time.
Ransomware Protection Importance to Prevent Ransomware Entry
Alongside the surging ransomware attacks on several institutions, the failure of ordinary anti-malware software to defend the user’s system against ransom attacks is boosting the market growth of the ransomware protection industry. it is observed that more than 75% of attacked victims were running up-to-date endpoint protection on the machines that were infected. The reason still these users fall for the ransom attacks was that inefficiency of the existing software to deal with advance are constantly re-written ransom code. Ransomware protection, on the other hand, is specially designed to deal with these attacks and hence is gaining fame in the market. This specialization has enabled huge investment and attention by major institutes. The US government, for instance, has instructed the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to prioritize ransomware protection in their security agenda.
Based on offering, the ransomware protection market is segmented into solutions and services. The solution involves the purchase of software and installation of the system for protection against ransomware. Services involve third-party protecting the systems against ransomware. Ransomware protection solutions are anticipated to dominate the market over the forecasted period since it does not any third-party organization. The ransomware protection market, based on development mode, is segmented into on-premise and cloud. The Cloud ransomware protection segment is predicted to grow at an exponential rate owing to surging cloud adoption.
Low Adaptability of the Protection Solution/ Service May Constrain the Market Size
Low adaptability to ransomware-specific protection measures due to the availability of anti-malware protection software that claims to protect the device against every malware has constrained the market size of the ransomware protection industry. consumers, in general, tend to give preference to multi-tasking malware protection software over specific malware protection offers to save cost, reducing the market size of the ransomware protection industry. Further, owing to financial constraints, small and medium enterprises prefer multi-tasking malware protectors over specialized protectors. However, large enterprises give priority to specialized malware protectors as they are more prone to attacks. Microsoft, for instance, has been the target of ransomware, severely affecting the company’s standing. In 2016, Cerber ransomware took advantage of Microsoft's vulnerability and infected networks, collecting the US $200,000 in ransom. Sodinokibi is another ransomware that targets Microsoft Windows, encrypting all files, excluding configuration files.
Geographical and COVID Insights
The analysis report on the ransomware protection market states that the North American and European regions will dominate the industry while the Asia Pacific region will grow at a noteworthy rate. The report also covers the detailed impact of the covid pandemic on the market.