Information Security

Two thirds of firms infected in 2016’s ransomware epidemic

Nearly two thirds of businesses were infected with ransomware in 2016, and a third of the victims paid a ransom to hackers, according to a new report.

Research by CyberEdge Group found that 61 per cent of organisations fell victim to ransomware last year, with 33 per cent of them paying up the demanded fee.

Meanwhile, 54 per cent said they refused to pay but recovered their data anyway and 13 per cent refused to pay up and subsequently lost their data.

The overall percentage of organisations affected by successful cyber attacks reached an all-time high of 76 per cent, up from 70 per cent in 2015’s report.

“There are more attacks, more sophisticated malware, and more complexity ahead relative to skyrocketing cloud usage, all making it more challenging to execute on a security program,” said Mike Rothman, president of Securosis.

“This difficulty is compounded by the global security skills shortage and the ongoing inability for most employees to not click on links that compromise their devices.

“On the positive front, budgets continue to increase and security initiatives are very high profile, consistently getting board room visibility. So all in all, it’s the best of times and the worst of times for security folks.”

The study also gave further details of the global cyber security skills crisis, with nine out of ten respondents indicating that their firms were suffering from a lack of talent. 51 per cent said they are using external vendors and contractors to fill the void.

Elsewhere, three quarters of organisations now believe their levels of cyber insurance are adequate, with less than nine per cent concerned about their coverage.

The human factor remained a concern, with low security awareness among employees topping the list of top security problems for the fourth consecutive year.

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