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Businesses “Very” To “Extremely” Concerned About A Ransomware Attack

More than half of leadership teams are “actively involved” in decision-making on preventing a ransomware attack, Finds new Hornetsecurity survey.

Nearly 60% of companies are “very” to “extremely” concerned about ransomware attacks, according to latest research from cybersecurity provider Hornetsecurity. In its annual Ransomware Survey, Hornetsecurity revealed that more than nine in 10 (92.5%) businesses are aware of ransomware’s potential for negative impact, but just 54% of respondents said their leadership is “actively involved in conversations and decision-making” around preventing such attacks. Four in 10 (39.7%) said they were happy to “leave it to IT to deal with the issue.”

“Our annual Ransomware Survey is a timely reminder that ransomware protection is key to ongoing success,” said Hornetsecurity CEO Daniel Hofmann. “Organizations cannot afford to become victims –ongoing security awareness training and multi-layered ransomware protection is critical to ensure there are no insurmountable losses.”

Ransomware Protection Is A Necessity

A large majority (93.2%) of survey respondents ranked ransomware protection as “very” to “extremely” important in terms of IT priorities for their organization, and 87.8% confirmed they have a disaster recovery plan in place for a ransomware attack.

However, that leaves more than one in eight organizations (12.2%) without a disaster recovery plan. Of those companies, more than half cited a “lack of resources or time” as the primary reason. Additionally, one-third of respondents said a disaster recovery plan is “not considered a priority by management.”

Conducted annually over the past three years, the survey asks respondents if their organization has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. Since 2021, Hornetsecurity has found relatively small changes in the percentage of respondents whose organizations have fallen victim to a ransomware attack: 21.1% in 2021, 23.9% in 2022, with a new low of 19.7% in 2023.

Additionally, companies that reported paying a ransom decreased from 9.1% in 2021 to 6.9% in 2023.

Some of the survey data show positive results: A majority of respondents reported they understand the importance of protection, and there was a drop in ransomware attack victims in 2023, indicating companies are becoming more vigilant in their data protection.

However, ransomware attacks continue to evolve, so organizations must maintain their vigilance. In 2023, 81% of respondents reported they are receiving end-user training in comparison to 2021, when only 71.2% reported they had received training.

“Although organizations have reported fewer ransomware attacks in 2023, the threats haven’t necessarily decreased,” Hofmann said. “Cybersecurity awareness among all users remains a crucial element to further decrease the risk of falling for these threats, especially as attacks become more sophisticated with new technologies.”

Security tools to combat ransomware attacks

The survey also revealed the tools used most often to combat potential threats:

  • 87.8% used to end-point detection software with anti-ransomware capabilities
  • 84.4% cited “email filtration and threat analysis”
  • 22.4% mentioned “AI-enabled security solutions” as a tool they are now using to combat ransomware within their organization.

The most common primary security features to protect backups from ransomware were:

  • Immutable storage (40.6% of respondents)
  • Tight control of user and application permissions (38.3%)
  • Air-gapped storage (27.8%).

Given the unpredictable nature of ransomware attacks, 76.2% of respondents said their business has changed the way it backs up its data. The 73.6% of respondents who have a recovery plan in place for their Microsoft 365 data are “very” to “extremely” confident in their chosen solution, while 55.1% of respondents are “very” to “extremely” confident that their data backups would be safe from a ransomware attack today.

Click here to read more about cybersecurity and business continuity issues from Continuity Insights.

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