88% of companies targeted by ransomware are ‘willing to pay’ if they are repeatedly targeted

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A new report by Kaspersky entitled “How Corporate Executives Perceive the Ransomware Threat” finds that 88% of companies attacked by ransomware would choose to pay the ransom if they had another similar attack.

In contrast, 67% of the executives of companies not previously attacked by ransomware said they would be willing to pay the ransom, but would tend not to do so immediately.

Although ransomware remains a significant threat, with two-thirds (64%) of companies experiencing such attacks, CEOs seem to view ransom payments as a reliable way to tackle the problem.

Ransomware became known in the corporate world after massive attacks got news week after week. The number of ransom attacks almost doubled in 2021 alone. These statistics raise questions about companies’ reactions in the event of an attack targeting them, and their attitude towards paying ransoms to the criminals behind them.

According to the report, if a company has been the victim of a ransomware attack in the past, it is more likely to pay a ransom if it is exposed to a new attack (88%).

These companies tend to pay as soon as possible to regain immediate access to their data. The report indicated that 33% of companies that have been attacked before will rush to pay if they are exposed to a new attack, compared to only 15% of companies that have never been attacked before. And 30% of companies that have been attacked before will pay, after just two days of unsuccessful decryption attempts, compared to 19% of those that have not been attacked before.

Business leaders at companies that have paid ransom in the past seem to see it as the safest way to recover their data, with 97% of them willing to do it again.

This can be attributed to a lack of awareness of how to respond to such threats, or to the time it takes to recover data, as companies may lose more money while waiting for data to recover, leading to that they pay the ransom.

Ransomware remains a real threat to digital security.

Two-thirds (64%) of companies have confirmed that they have experienced this type of incident, and 66% of them expect to be exposed to attacks in the future, given that these types of attacks are more likely than other common types of attacks, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) or DDoS attacks. Supply chains, persistent advanced threats, cryptocurrency mining or cyber espionage.

Ransomware has become a serious threat to companies, according to Sergey Martsinkian, vice president of enterprise product marketing at Kaspersky, who says it is being introduced with new versions appearing regularly and being used by advanced threat gangs. He explained that accidental injuries can cause problems for companies, pointing out that managers had to make difficult decisions about paying ransoms due to the need for business continuity.

“However, we recommend not providing money to criminals, as even payment does not guarantee the return of encrypted data and encourages these criminals to repeat their criminal acts. At Kaspersky, we work hard to help the business community avoid such consequences, but it is fundamentally important for companies to adhere to security principles and look for reliable security solutions to reduce the risk of ransomware attacks. ”

Kaspersky recommends the following actions and measures to improve the protection of ransomware:

• Always keep the software up to date on all devices to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities and infiltrating corporate networks.

• Defense strategies focus on detecting lateral movements of data and movements of data extraction to the Internet, focusing on outbound traffic to discover the connections of cybercriminals with the institutional network.

• Back up and store corporate data in isolated and offline environments so that hackers cannot access it. Make sure they can access quickly in case of emergency.

Activate ransom protection at all endpoints. The free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business can protect computers and servers from ransomware and other types of malware, prevent exploitation, and be compatible with existing corporate security solutions.

• Large companies can use Advanced Sustained Threat Control and Threat Detection and Response solutions at their endpoints, enabling stakeholders to detect and investigate advanced threats, address incidents in a timely manner and have access to the latest threat information. And

Managed services can be used to find advanced ransomware attacks effectively. All this is available in Kaspersky Expert Security.

• If the company is the victim of an attack, it must completely refrain from paying the ransom. Paying will not guarantee data recovery, but it will encourage criminals to continue their vandalism. The incident must be reported immediately to law enforcement.

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