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Ransomware Attacks Have Doubled Over Past Two Years

Adoption of Zero Trust and microsegmentation strategies are increasing in response to rise in attacks, finds new report from Akamai.

Organizations experienced an average of 86 ransomware attacks in the past 12 months, up from an average of 43 annual attacks two years ago, according to a new report from Akamai Technologies. The State of Segmentation 2023 highlights the increase in ransomware, the adoption of Zero Trust, and the benefits of microsegmentation.

Akamai partnered with Vanson Bourne to interview 1,200 IT and security decision-makers in 10 countries to measure the progress organizations have made in securing their environments, focusing on the role of segmentation. The research revealed that security organizations have responded to the recent rise in attacks by implementing Zero Trust and microsegmentation strategies. Nearly all (99%) of respondents who reported that they have deployed some form of segmentation have also deployed a Zero Trust security framework.

Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that microsegmentation is an effective tool to keep assets protected, but deployment was lower than expected, with only 30% of organizations segmenting across more than two business critical areas. Globally, the top obstacles to deploying microsegmentation are a lack of skills/expertise (39%) followed by increased performance bottlenecks (39%), and compliance requirements (38%). Almost all of those surveyed, no matter the sector, industry, or country, reported the same obstacles to slightly different extents.

Microsegmentation Allows Quicker Response

Despite slow deployments, organizations that have persevered and implemented a microsegmentation strategy across six mission-critical areas reported recovering from an attack in an average of only four hours. That’s 11 hours faster than organizations that have only segmented across one critical area, underscoring the effectiveness of a Zero Trust strategy that utilizes microsegmentation.

Ransomware Attacks
(Source: Akamai Technologies)

“The cybersecurity landscape is always evolving and shifting based on the latest threat methodologies developed by cybercriminals. Whether it’s defending against ransomware, new zero-days, or sophisticated phishing attacks, it’s vital that organizations reevaluate their risks to protect their critical assets,” said Steve Winterfeld, Advisory CISO at Akamai. “One of the key ways to do this is with a Zero Trust architecture. That means utilizing a combination of Zero Trust Network Access and microsegmentation integrated as part of a clear security strategy supported by access to staff and partners with necessary skills.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • Of all respondents, 93% claimed that microsegmentation is critical to help thwart ransomware attacks.
  • Network downtime (44%), data loss (42%), and brand/reputation damage (39%) were the most common issues impacting organizations after a ransomware attack.
  • The U.S. and Germany reported the most ransomware attacks over the past year, with the U.S. at 115 and Germany at 110.
  • India leads the way in segmentation, with 58% of organizations reporting more than two assets/areas being segmented, followed by Mexico with 48% and Japan with 32%.

You can read the full report here.

Read more about cybersecurity and business continuity issues from Continuity Insights.

Akamai Research, Akamai Technologies, Cybersecurity, Microsegmentation, ransomware, security, State of Segmentation 2023, Survey, Zero Trust

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