UK found to be ‘most resolute’ country at dealing with ransomware

Ransomware is costing UK companies a whopping £346 million every year, despite Britain being labelled ‘the most resolute’ country for dealing with the cyber attacks.

In fact, more than 40 per cent of mid-large UK business suffered on average five ransomware attacks during the last year, according to research by Vanson Bourne.

However, 92 per cent of security professionals feel confident in their ability to combat ransomware in the future. And there was more good news for British. The survey found the UK to be the most resolute, both in refusing to pay ransom demands, as well as the most effective in combatting them. They experience the fewest number of attacks: 40 per cent, versus 70 per cent in Germany, 59 per cent in France and 55 per cent in the USA and enjoy a 43 per cent success rate in successfully defending against attacks.

The research, commissioned by SentinelOne, reveals that ransomware is costing individual businesses around the globe an average of £591,238 per annum. The research all concluded that the number of companies ravaged by ransomware is on the rise. Results show that the overall percentage of companies experiencing ransomware has increased from 48 per cent in 2016 to 56 per cent in 2018, however the average number per year has fallen from six to five attacks. The amount of time spent decrypting ransomware attacks has also increased from 33 to 40 man-hours. The study also reveals that employees are considered the major culprits responsible for introducing the malware into the business. This was further supported by the fact that phishing, which seeks to socially engineer employees, was the top attack vector by which ransomware infiltrated the business in 69 per cent of instances.

Migo Kedem, director of Product Management at SentinelOne said: “It’s staggering to see the cost to British businesses of £346 million. This figure shows that businesses are becoming increasingly aware that it’s not just the ransom demand, but rather the ancillary costs of downtime, staff time, lost business, as well as the data recovery costs and reputational damage that are the biggest concern to British businesses.”

He added: “On a more positive note, it’s good to see CISOs feeling more bullish about their ability to tackle ransomware using the latest behavioural AI-based end-point technology. It’s also encouraging to see a clear movement against companies caving in to ransomware demands, preferring instead to take more proactive measure such as back-ups and patching of vulnerable systems. However, the volume of ransomware attacks is still increasing and their speed, scale, sophistication and success in evading detection with the growth in file-less and memory-based malware, explains why ransomware will continue to be a major threat to CISOs in 2018 and beyond.”

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