Press Release

Almost 60% of businesses are ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ concerned about ransomware attacks

Fri 13 Oct 2023

Nearly 60% of companies are ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ concerned about ransomware attacks, according to Hornetsecurity.

In its annual Ransomware Survey, Hornetsecurity revealed that more than nine in ten (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 ten (39.7%) said they were happy to ‘leave it to IT to deal with the issue’.

Hornetsecurity CEO, Daniel Hofmann, said: “Our annual Ransomware Survey is a timely reminder that ransomware protection is key to ongoing success. Organisations 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

Reassuringly, 93.2% of respondents rank ransomware protection as ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ important in terms of IT priorities for their organisation, and 87.8% of respondents confirmed they have a disaster recovery plan in place for a ransomware attack.

However, that leaves more than one in eight organisations (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’.

Comparing Ransomware Survey Results in 2021-2023

This survey has been conducted annually over the past three years and has included asking respondents if their organisation has fallen victim to a ransomware attack.

Since 2021, Hornetsecurity has found relatively small changes in the percentage of respondents saying their organisations have fallen victim to a ransomware attack: 21.1% in 2021, 23.9% in 2022, but a new low of 19.7% in 2023.

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

Some of the data in this survey show positive results, with a majority of respondents reporting they understand the importance of protection, and a drop in ransomware attack victims in 2023, showing companies are becoming more vigilant in their data protection.

Ransomware attacks continue to evolve, though, so organisations must maintain this 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 organisations have reported fewer ransomware attacks in 2023, the threats have not necessarily decreased. 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,“ said Hofmann.

Security tools to Combat Ransomware Attacks 

The survey also revealed the most used tools 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 organisation.

The most common primary security feature to protect backups from ransomware is:

  • 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.

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