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Half of UK businesses victimised by Ransomware, study shows

Main cyberattack image via Shutterstock
Main cyberattack image via Shutterstock

A report, entitled “State of Ransomware,” sponsored by Malwarebytes explored ransomware attack frequency, how it works in an enterprise environment, ransom cost, infiltration points, impact, preparedness and more and revealed staggering data.

“Over the last four years, ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest cyber security threats in the wild, with instances of ransomware in exploit kits increasing 259 percent in the last five months alone,” said Nathan Scott, Senior Security Researcher at Malwarebytes and ransomware expert. “Until now, very few studies have examined the current prevalence and ramifications of actual ransomware incidents in the enterprise.”

While the scale of this study was fairly wide and included U.S., Canada, and Germany, here are the key findings in the UK.

The research found that almost half of all businesses have been hit by a ransomware attack over the last year.  Among the countries surveyed, the UK reported the highest proportion of ransomware attacks, with 54% of the companies polled affected.

Of the organisations that suffered online extortion, over 40% ended up paying the ransom. The study found that the typical demand to unlock data was around £750 in 60% of cases, but one in five demanded over £7,500.

Over a third of companies hit by this popular attack method said they lost revenue due to the incident, and 20% had their business ceased operation entirely for a time. Over 60% of incidents took longer than nine hours to remediate, Malwarebytes found.

The largest amount of attacks delivered were initiated via an email– 46% of them. Although email was less prevalent as an attack channel in the UK, where it accounted for only 39% of attacks. In the US, it was responsible for 59%.

Globally, UK respondents scored lowest when asked if they were aware which device the ransomware had used to enter the organisation, with 22% saying they did not know.

Consequently, the UK recorded the most revenue lost worldwide, with 60% saying the attack cost the company financially, nearly 10 times more than their US counterparts.

The report listed fragile infrastructure, poor network hygiene and slow detection rates as reasons that provide cybercriminals with more time to operate and expand their attack.

CEO of Malwarebytes, Marcin Kleczynski stated, “The results from this survey further emphasise that any business in any region is incredibly vulnerable to ransomware, cyber criminals are increasing their use of ransomware in their attack strategies globally, causing business disruption, loss of files and wasted IT man-hours.” To stay safe, businesses must invest heavily in employee education and technology, said Kleczynski.

 

Written by DFGR Research Team – www.dfgr-ltd.com

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