Companies would pay a million dollars to prevent a hack

Almost a fifth (24.6 per cent) of companies said they’d pay hackers to prevent a cyber-attack and, more importantly, 14 per cent would pay more than a million dollars to stay safe.

These are the results of a new survey by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), independent cloud security research body.

Among the biggest problem in staying safe online is the lack of high-quality IT security workers, the survey adds. However, confidence in the cloud is rising, with 64.9 per cent of IT leaders finding cloud services to be more secure then on-premises software.

At the same time, Skyhigh released a survey (PDF) that showed that the average European business uses more than 1,000 cloud applications. Some go as high as 6,000 apps. EU-based cloud services are on a dramatic rise, doubling over the past six months, from 14.3 to 27 per cent.

“It’s shocking that so many companies are willing to pay even a penny’s ransom, and would trust hackers not to follow through with an attack. The idea that some would pay more than $1m is downright staggering. There are no guarantees at any price, and there is no way back once the payment is made,” said Nigel Hawthorn, Skyhigh Networks’ Chief European spokesperson.

“Examples of companies refusing to pay up, such as Meetup.com, are few and far between. As such, hackers are increasingly confident they can hold businesses over a barrel, that they can execute crippling cyberattacks and that most businesses would rather pay up than put up. There will be several high profile examples of ransomware in 2016, and countless unreported incidents on top of that.”