Almost a third of UK organisations have been hit by ransomware in past year

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene)

Even though we’ve heard reports of ransomware attacks losing steam, a new report by Databarracks says that a third of UK organisations were victims to this type of an attack in the past year.

Databarracks polled 400 IT decision makers for the report and concluded that we’re actually witnessing a rise in ransomware attacks, one which is not isolated to specific regions or sectors.

Responding to these findings, Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks says: “The wave of attacks in US, combined with our own research, shows how common ransomware attacks have become. It’s important organisations take preparative action.

The wave he’s referring to includes more than half a dozen cities, and public service organisations across the US which have fallen victim to ransomware this year alone. The Administrative Office of the Georgia Courts was recently targeted, and before that – two separate cities in the state of Florida.

“While some public services have been forced to pay ransoms, we wouldn’t encourage others to follow this example. Doing so, will not only incite further criminal activity but can lead to further repercussions for organisations and its employees. In some instances, paying a ransom may even be illegal. At best paying the ransom means funding cyber-criminals to carry out further attacks and at worst, potentially funding terrorism.” 

Groucutt continues, “Having a Cyber Incident Response Plan – including recovery from backup – is critical.

“A ransomware attack will ultimately leave a business with two decisions: recover your information from a previous backup or pay the ransom. But even if a ransom is paid, it’s not certain your data will be returned. The only way to be fully protected is to have historic backup copies of your data."

Ransomware is a type of malware which encrypts all the information stored on machines and networks, and then demands bitcoin from the victim in exchange for the decryption key.

Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene