What’s more profitable, ransomware or a Forbes Global 2000 business?
Ransomware is one of the most prevalent and impactful methods of extorting an organization or individual in the digital world. Based on new estimates from the FBI, CNN recently reported that cyber-criminals have collected $209 million in the first three months of 2016 from extorting businesses and institutions in order to unlock their computer servers. At this rate, it’s on pace to be a $1 billion market by the end of the year.
To quantify that figure a bit, we looked at the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest companies to see how their profits compared to that of the ransomware business. We chose to compare the profits of Global 2000 companies as ransomware infrastructure is relatively inexpensive and therefore almost a pure profit business. So how much more lucrative is the ransomware business than the legitimate business world?
The majority of companies,68.7 percent (1,375), in the Forbes Global 2000 are less profitable than the ransomware industry. This includes huge brands such as Amazon.com, BP, and Kraft Heinz Company, among others. The geographic breakdown shouldn’t be that surprising with the United States being home to 383 companies as compared to 112 in China, 63 in the United Kingdom, and 12 in Russia.
Note: There are 2001 companies listed in the 2016 Forbes Global 2000 with Hanwha Chemical and SBA Communications both coming in at the 2000 spot.