Cyber criminals are moving away from scattergun approaches to stealing money and are instead going after large sums from company chief executives.
This is the conclusion of a new report from analytics provider CyberCube, which said high-volume, low-value methods are less effective than targeting managers who can authorise payments and have access to full bank accounts.
Attackers can even carry out reconnaissance on businesses and calibrate their ransom demands depending on firms' financial performance and data assets, the 'Understanding Ransomware Trends' research said.
CyberCube's Yvette Essen commented: "Criminals are realising that ransom demands of millions of dollars are achievable when the target becomes a corporation rather than lots of consumers."
It also predicted that going forward, attackers may start to construct algorithms to hunt for individual targets and work out how best to convince them to send money.
According to Symantec, 81 per cent of cyber attacks in 2018 focused on corporations with high ransom demands.