More than half of all organisations have been the victim of a ransomware attack – and 80% of businesses that chose to pay a ransom demand suffered a second ransomware attack, often at the hands of the same threat actor group.

This is according to Cybereason’s global ransomware study of nearly 1 300 security professionals, which also reveals that of the organisations that opted to pay a ransom demand to regain access to their encrypted systems, 46% reported that some or all of the data was corrupted during the recovery process.

Key findings from the research include:

* Loss of Business Revenue: 66% of organisations reported significant loss of revenue following a ransomware attack.

* Ransom Demands Increasing: 35% of businesses that paid a ransom demand shelled out between $350 000 and $1,4-million, while 7% paid ransoms exceeding $1,4-million.

* Brand and Reputation Damage: 53% of organisations indicated that their brand and reputation were damaged as a result of a successful attack.

* C-Level Talent Loss: 32% of organisations reported losing C-Level talent as a direct result of ransomware attacks;

* Employee Layoffs: 29% reported being forced to lay off employees due to financial pressures following a ransomware attack.

* Business Closures: A startling 26% of organisations reported that a ransomware attack forced the business to close down operations entirely.

Other key findings included in the full report reveal the extent to which losses to the business may be covered by cyber insurance, how prepared organizations are to address ransomware threats to the business with regard to adequate security policies and staffing, and more granular information on the impact of ransomware attacks by region, company size and industry vertical.

In addition, the report provides actionable data on the types of security solutions organisations had in place prior to an attack, as well as which solutions were most often implemented by organisations after they experienced a ransomware attack.

“Ransomware attacks are a major concern for organisations across the globe, often causing massive business disruptions including the loss of income and valuable human resources as a direct result,” says Lior Div, CEO and co-founder of Cybereason. “In the case of the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, disruptions were felt up and down the East Coast of the uS and negatively impacted other businesses who are dependent on Colonial’s operations.

“Paying a ransom demand does not guarantee a successful recovery, does not prevent the attackers from hitting the victim organization again, and in the end only exacerbates the problem by encouraging more attacks. Getting in front of the threat by adopting a prevention-first strategy for early detection will allow organisations to stop disruptive ransomware before they can hurt the business.”

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