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British businesses 'will pay thousands' to beat ransomware

 The threat of ransomware attacks may be set to continue for some time after new research found that many victims would be willing to spend big in order to get back their files.

A new study from Citrix has found that British businesses would be prepared to pay out more than £136,000 - despite the average ransom demand being far less.

Many businesses are also starting to stockpile resources in case they ever are hacked, with nearly one in three large British businesses admitting that they are stockpiling more than 30 bitcoins (worth over £50,000) in case of a ransomware attack.

Such planning suggests that many British businesses are in fact better prepared to deal with the effects of a ransomware attack, with Citrix finding that just seven per cent of those surveyed failing to have any contingency measures in case they were hacked - a major fall from 20 per cent last year.

And this preparedness is now mixed with a growing resistance to the threat of attack, with the survey finding that a fifth of businesses are not prepared to pay anything when struck with a ransomware attack.

“Cybercriminals are resorting to ransomware to exploit the vulnerabilities that exist within British organisations,” said Chris Mayers, chief security architect, Citrix. “This is no secret with global attacks hitting the headlines, yet many businesses are still being caught out. Organisations must ensure they’re prepared for the reality of this threat and take action to both safeguard the IT network for an attack and protect mission-critical data.

“Stockpiling a potential ransom may alleviate concerns about ensuring constant access to data but there is no guarantee that data will be returned even when a ransom has been paid. Instead, committing to robust cybersecurity techniques and ensuring specific contingency measures are in place to deal with an attack can reduce the chances of falling prey to ransomware in the first place.”

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.