40pc of businesses hit by ransomware in past year – report

4 Aug 2016

A new report has found that almost 40pc of enterprises have been hit by some form of ransomware over the past 12 months, with incidents skyrocketing month-to-month.

“Over the last four years, ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in the wild, with instances of ransomware in exploit kits increasing 259pc in the last five months alone,” said Nathan Scott, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes.

He was speaking on the back of a new report by the cybersecurity company that showed that one-third of ransomware attacks are successful in extracting money from companies, with one-fifth stopping business entirely.

Future Human

Entitled the State of Ransomware, the company surveyed more than 500 CIOs, CISOs and IT directors in the US, UK, Germany and Canada, operating businesses employing thousands of staff.


Some of the details of the findings are quite interesting, with almost half (46pc) of attacks originating from emails.

Healthcare and financial services are more prone to attacks than other industries, with the success rate of these attacks quite something.

More than 40pc of those hit by attacks paid out, with Canadian businesses the most likely of the four countries to pay their attackers.

The process is not quick for the victims, with nine hours the average remediation time. Though, for attackers, this time could be considered a fairly structured work day.

“The results from this survey further emphasise that any business in any region is incredibly vulnerable to ransomware,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes.

“Cyber-criminals are increasing their use of ransomware in their attack strategies globally, causing business disruption, loss of files and wasted IT hours. In order to stay safe, businesses must invest heavily in both employee education and technology.”

The full report will be presented on 10 August in an online webinar.

Main cyberattack image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic