- The report found that organizations that have already been hit by ransomware attacks in the past were more likely to pay immediately to get instant access to their data.
- Nearly 66% of the business leaders anticipate that their business will be attacked at some point, viewing it as more likely than other common attack types.
According to a Kaspersky report titled, ‘How business executives perceive ransomware threat,’ 88% of worldwide organizations who were attacked by ransomware at some point in time would prefer to pay the ransom if they are faced with another attack. Decision-makers within organizations that have previously paid a ransom seem to believe that this is the most effective way to get their data back – around 97% of them were willing to do it again. As for those organizations that are yet to become victims of ransomware attacks, only 67% would be willing to pay, and they would be less inclined to do so immediately.
Organizations that have already been hit by ransomware attacks in the past were more likely to pay immediately to get instant access to their data (33% of previously attacked companies versus 15% of companies that have never been victimized) or to pay after only a couple of days of unsuccessful decrypting attempts (30% vs 19%).
Ransomware being one of the most prominent threats, two-thirds (64%) of the companies who suffered from the attack think that the most reliable way to address this issue is to pay ransomware payments.
Furthermore, 66% of the business leaders anticipate that their business will be attacked at some point, viewing it as more likely than other common attack types, such as DDoS, supply-chain, APT, crypto mining, or cyber-espionage.
Companies are willing to pay the ransomware amount because they have little knowledge about how they should respond to such threats, or the time is taken to restore data – businesses lose more money waiting for data restorations than they would pay the ransom.
Experts have always advised that victims must never fall prey to ransoms as it offers no guarantee that the attackers will give the data back. In fact, it encourages criminals to continue with their business. Alternatively, they advocate that such incidents must be reported to local law enforcement.
They also recommend that organizations take preventative measures, including setting up offline backups, keeping software on all corporate devices up to date, enabling ransomware protection on all endpoints, and focusing defence strategy on detecting lateral movements and data exfiltration on the internet.
It’s now up to individual businesses to ensure that their organization is well secured. Cybersecurity protection may not be cheap, but it will definitely not cost as high as ransomware payments. Cybersecurity budgets need to go up, and businesses must stop looking to paying for ransomware as a solution.
Believe it or not, in 2021, an insurance company based in the US reportedly paid USD 40 million in ransom to hackers to get back its data after a cyberattack. This was one of the biggest ransomware payments ever made. When a company’s reputation is at stake, many are even willing to negotiate with cybercriminals on the ransomware amount.
Kaspersky’s report surveyed 900 respondents across North America, South America, Africa, Russia, Europe, and Asia-Pacific in April 2022 across senior non-IT management (such as CEOs, VP, and Director level) and business owners or partners at medium-sized companies and enterprises (50-1000 employees).
“Ransomware has become a serious threat to corporations with new samples regularly emerging and APT groups using it in advanced attacks. Even an accidental infection can cause problems for a company. And because it’s about business continuity, executives are forced to make tough decisions about paying the ransom. Giving money to criminals is never recommended, though, as this doesn’t guarantee that the encrypted data will be returned, and it encourages these cybercriminals to do it again,” said Sergey Martsynkyan, VP, Corporate Product Marketing at Kaspersky.