Only Half Of Ransomware Victims Who Pay Recover Their Data

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In response to the findings of a new report from CyberEdge, which revealed that 55 percent of organizations were compromised by ransomware in 2017 and that four in five organization are experiencing an IT security skills shortage in 2018, Terry Ray, CTO at Imperva commented below.

Ransomware – key findings:

  • The report found that 55 percent of responding organizations were compromised by ransomware in 2017, down from 61 percent in 2016.
  • When infected by ransomware, out of the companies who paid the ransomware, 49 percent recovered their data, 51 percent lost their data.
  • When infected with ransomware, out of the companies who refused to pay the ransom, 87 percent recovered their data, 13 percent lost their data.
  • Has the bleeding stopped? For the first time in five years, the percentage of organizations affected by a successful cyberattack decreased – from 79 percent in 2016 to 77 percent in 2017. Furthermore, the number of organizations victimized by six or more successful attacks fell from 33 percent in 2016 to 27 percent in 2017.

Terry Ray, CTO at Imperva:

“Just over half of the survey respondents admitted that following a ransomware infection they still lost their data even though they paid the fine. This highlights the reality that there is no guarantee a company will get their data back if they pay the ransom. Companies therefore need to stop ransomware attacks from the very beginning, before the encryption of data takes place. The best way to prevent an attack is to immediately detect ransomware file access behaviours before the ransomware spreads across the network and encrypts file servers. Once detected, you can quarantine impacted users, devices and systems.”

Skills gap – key findings:

  • IT security skills deficit. For the first time in five years, lack of skilled personnel trumped low security awareness among employees as IT security’s greatest inhibitor to success. In 2018, four in five organization are experiencing an IT security skills shortage.
  • The IT security skills shortage varies little by organization size, both in terms of the overall level of impact and the impact by role.

Response from Terry Ray, CTO at Imperva:

“The security skills shortage is well-documented so this isn’t a surprise. However, to help overcome deficiencies in their human teams, organizations can bolster their cyber defences and bridge the skills gap using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). ML software can perform preventative and analytical security processes and can detect threats at a much greater speed than humans, helping to prevent attacks.”

Security stuck in the cloud – key findings:

  • More than nine in 10 security professionals acknowledge cloud security challenges. Maintaining data privacy, controlling access, and monitoring for threats are at the top of the list.
  • Respondents revealed that maintaining data privacy / confidentially is the greatest inhibitor for organisations adequately trying to defend against cyber threats.

Response from Terry Ray, CTO at Imperva:

“This tracks with our experience that companies are not yet fully aware of the complexities involved with securing cloud data. Nor are they adequately securing their applications in the cloud, a problem that is only getting bigger. The key to securing data in the cloud is knowing where it is (discovery), knowing who accesses it (monitoring), identifying what is “wrong” (analytics), and then taking action when something wrong is identified (remediation).”

Concern over insider threats has fallen to tenth place – key findings:

  • One of the most significant changes in this year’s report is the fall of insider threats (from third to tenth).

Response from Terry Ray, CTO at Imperva:

“This statistic does raise a red flag because while concern over insider threats has decreased over the last year, organizations should not overlook the threat as it is still very real. To protect against insider threats, organizations can depend on solutions that leverage machine learning to analyze patterns in user behavior, and detect insider threats at a much greater speed than humans.”

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