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Ransomware attacks have become more and more common, attracting more global focus. Rob Wainright the head of the Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, has warned that ransomware attacks now number as many as 4000 per day, with cybercrime operations large and sophisticated enough to threaten critical infrastructure.

According to infosecurity-magazine.com, he was speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon. In fact, he claimed the financial sector is particularly at risk from crime “conglomerations” with corporate structures, featuring specialized groups. This has enabled a doubling or tripling of various threats on an almost annual basis, he claimed.

“What really concerns me is the sophistication of the capability, which is becoming good enough to really threaten parts of our critical infrastructure, certainly in the financial, banking sector,” Wainright told news agencies. “The real threat comes from a sort of exponential, remorseless increase in the scale and significance of cyber-criminal capability.” The majority of cyber-criminals Europol faces are Russian speaking, he added.

Simon Rodway, a consultant at security firm Entersekt, said the existence of criminal conglomerates has been known about in the industry for some time. “This is one of the reasons why we believe innovation in terms of digital security solutions is crucial,” he added. “For financial institutions, implementing solutions that provide strong authentication and authorization measures can protect customers from cyber-attacks that are indeed becoming increasingly sophisticated,” according to infosecurity-magazine.com.

Trend Micro claimed recently that its filters blocked a staggering 82 million ransomware threats globally in the first six months of 2017. Cybersecurity company Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman said the increased attention on ransomware and the company’s updated anti-exploit application have driven more interest around the endpoint protection business.  

According to crn.com, the company shifted its go-to-market emphasis to address areas of concern following May’s WannaCry ransomware attack and the Petya encrypting ransomware that flared up again in June, Hagerman said. Customers and partners have been focusing on ransomware, which has steered more conversations toward Sophos’ endpoint tools, according to Hagerman.