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Businesses are feeling the financial hit from tackling cyberattacks

ransomware
(Image credit: Image Credit: WK1003Mike / Shutterstock )

Ransomware is becoming more devastating by the day and organizations that fall victim to attacks are suffering a significant financial toll.

This is according to a new report from ransomware and data protection provider ProLion, which claims that 43 percent of businesses have been targeted in the past year, up from 38 percent the year before.

Basing its findings on a poll of more than 6,000 companies across the UK and elsewhere in Europe, the company says that, for 17 percent of the respondents, the attack “threatened their future from a financial perspective”.

Of the businesses surveyed, 16 percent were targeted with ransomware, with more than half (58 percent) paying up. That has obviously emboldened the criminals, as the ransom demand “jumped through the roof” in the USA.

To make matters worse, the cost of recovery was almost as high as the ransom itself, making up an average of 45 percent of the overall cost. Businesses also have penalties attached to breaches of data protection regulations to consider.

According to Steve Arlin, VP Sales, UK, Americas & APAC, at ProLion, companies rarely utilize the “most effective route to combat ransomware”: to take the threat seriously in the first place.

“Organizations seem content to carry on with the mandated once-a-year cybersecurity training courses which focus primarily on phishing emails and click-bait. Whilst these are still worthwhile, additional measures are needed due to the impact of Covid-19 which has led to many more people working from home,” Arlin said.

With Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) becoming widespread, the barrier to entry has essentially been removed, which is another reason organizations should care more about the threat, Arlin added.

“The call to action is simple: be proactive. We have seen with the Covid-19 response that most people would not wait till they are infected with a virus before doing something about it. Likewise, with ransomware, do not wait till it is too late! In the famous underlining principle of medicine – prevention is better than cure,” he concluded.