There was a spike in ransomware attacks around the world in the final quarter of last year, according to a new report from consultancy firm Kroll.

The Kroll Threat Landscape Report shows that as 2022 drew to a close there was an increase in attacks impacting the manufacturing, healthcare, technology and telecommunications industries.

It came after a dip in ransomware during the third quarter of 2022, which may be due to the disbandment of the Conti ransomware group.

Conti is the group behind the cyberattack that targeted the Health Service Executive in May 2021.

The report from Kroll found that since Conti's departure there has been increased activity by other ransomware groups such as BlackCat, the cybercriminals believed to be behind the recent attack on Munster Technological University (MTU).

The report found that ransomware attacks against the technology and telecommunications sector more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2022 with the manufacturing industry seeing a 25% increase in attacks.

Phishing was most common initial access method in 2022 and email compromise was the most common threat type.

"The central story of 2022 is cybercriminals' ability to quickly evolve and regroup in the face of advancing security controls, law enforcement activity and geopolitical disruption," said Laurie Iacono, Associate Managing Director in Kroll's Cyber Risk business.

"Timely threat intelligence from real incidents, deeply integrated into security response operations technology and teams will be key to cyber resilience in the year ahead," Ms Iacono said.

Kroll is warning that due to the continued market volatility across the globe and the ongoing war on Ukraine, it is likely that the unstable circumstances in which attackers thrived last year will persist in 2023.

The report concludes that it is also highly probable that ransomware will continue to evolve in complexity and impact in the year ahead.