Perhaps even more frightening than the increase in cyberattacks in recent months and years is the increase in number of organizations that are paying cybercriminals to restore their networks. The victims of ransomware attacks are giving into the extortion demands of the hackers. This is the downside of paying, and it is really bad news for cybersecurity.
Troubling Increase in Ransomware Payments
According to a recent report, the number of organizations paying ransom to cyber criminals to restore their breached networks has more than doubled this year. Specifically, the total number of organizations worldwide that pay the ransom after becoming a victim to a cyber attack has now reached 39% of all ransomware victims.
The survey reveals that the number of U.K.-based organizations affected by ransomware attacks that paid the ransom for the decryption key doubled from 14% to 28% from 2018 to 2019.
Why would an organization give in to extortion demands when law enforcement and cybersecurity providers advise against it? The answer is that paying the ransom is the easiest and quickest solution for restoring crucial data and networks. Sometimes it is the only way to do so. Furthermore, organizations need to restore function as soon as possible to preserve their reputation.
Ensuring protection against attacks
Victims often pay ransom in large figures, even in the six digits. This encourages hackers to improve their techniques and breach other networks.
Organizations that want to protect themselves and their data must make sure that their software and systems are in place and properly patched with the latest security updates. Also, they must create a backup of their network and data regularly so that in the event of an unforeseen attack, they can minimize the damage. And maybe give them a choice if they are attacked—the choice to avoid the downside of paying. The choice not to pay.