Almost six out of 10 organizations suffer ransomware attacks

Ransomware sign

New research reveals that 56 percent of surveyed decision makers from IT and risk, fraud or compliance functions report that their organization has suffered a ransomware attack in the last 12 months, compared to under half (48 percent) who said the same in 2016.

The study of 500 businesses in the UK, France, Germany and USA commissioned by SentinelOne and carried out by Vanson Bourne shows 69 percent say the most successful ransomware attack resulted in the attacker being able to encrypt some data, with five percent paying the ransom to decrypt the data.

Of those whose organization has suffered a ransomware attack in the last 12 months, 69 percent say that the attacker was able to gain access to their organization's network by phishing via email or social media. 44 percent report that access was gained by a drive-by-download caused by clicking on a compromised website and/or an infection via a computer that was part of a botnet (42 percent).

The types of device most likely to be impacted by the ransomware attack(s) are desktop PCs (80 percent), servers (57 percent) and mobile devices (38 percent), while the types of data that are most likely to have been affected in the past 12 months are employee (45 percent), customer (38 percent) and product (37 percent) information.

Ransomware is costing individual businesses around the globe an average of £591,238 (around $831,000) per annum, with the total cost to British businesses at £346 ($489) million.

"It's staggering to see the cost to British businesses of £346 million," Migo Kedem, director of product management at SentinelOne says. "This figure shows that businesses are becoming increasingly aware that it's not just the ransom demand, but rather the ancillary costs of downtime, staff time, lost business, as well as the data recovery costs and reputational damage that are the biggest concern to businesses."

UK companies are, however, least likely to pay ransom demands, as well as being the most effective in combating them. They experience the fewest number of attacks: 40 percent, versus 70 percent in Germany, 59 percent in France and 55 percent in the USA and enjoy a 43 percent success rate in successfully defending against attacks.

In the UK, ransom payments have almost disappeared entirely, with just three percent of ransom demands being paid today, against 17 percent in 2016. British companies also pay the lowest amount of ransoms: those choosing to pay up had spent on average £27,500 ($38,900) in ransoms versus a global average of £34,800 ($49,200) in the last twelve months, down from £45,000 ($63,000) per annum in 2016.

More detail is available in the full report which you can get from the SentinelOne website.

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