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More than a third of companies pay after being victims of ransomware

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A survey conducted in the United States showed that 80% of corporations have been hit by ransomware attacks since 2019, with 39% of them actually paying the ransom demanded by criminals to get their data and operations back. In the country, the average payment is US$ 6.3 million, one of the highest numbers in the world.

The data appear in a survey by cloud security company Mimecast, which traced the dizzying increase in the total number of attacks and also in the amounts demanded by the bad guys. According to the survey, 13% of affected companies even negotiated the ransom with criminals, while 40% of respondents said they did not pay, recovering information and systems from backups or other defense strategies.

The average value indicated in the USA is higher than that of neighboring Canada (US$ 5.3 million) and much higher than that of the United Kingdom, where the figures are around US$ 850,000. Australia, Germany and South Africa also appear among the top doctors, with rescue estimates in the range of $250,000.

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According to the survey, more than half of successful attacks had fraudulent emails as a vector, with file attachments being the main gateway. In close second are security breaches, with 47% of cases, with executives surveyed by Mimecast stating that training initiatives and sharing threat information with employees help mitigate both types of scams.

The security company calls attention to a paradox. While 39% of companies admitted to having paid ransoms, 83% of respondents said they were confident their corporations would be able to recover information and systems from backups, without having to negotiate with criminals. Another 77% said that this return could happen within two days after the incidents, indicating high confidence in safety routines even if the practical result does not indicate this.

Another aspect that demonstrates this dichotomy appears in the idea that 40% of IT managers believe they would lose their jobs if the company they work for were the victim of a ransomware attack. 66% said they felt defending against such scams is a personal responsibility, while half said the attacks in their organizations were the result of a strategy that underestimated cybersecurity. A similar total also pointed out that they need higher budgets to promote adequate preparation.

That sentiment goes hand in hand with the idea that the costs of a ransomware attack aren’t just about ransoms. Among the companies interviewed, 42 percent said their operations were disrupted by the incidents, while 36 percent were down for several days. Still, 30% of them said they had lost revenue, while 21% registered significant losses in their customer base.

Mimecast’s survey interviewed 742 technology managers in US organizations of different sizes.

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