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Ransomware costing UK companies £346m

(Image credit: Image Credit: WK1003Mike / Shutterstock )

Ransomware (opens in new tab) is a growing threat worldwide and new research has revealed that 40 per cent of UK companies reported falling victim to an average of five attacks last year costing them £329,976 each year.  

The security firm SentinelOne commissioned Vanson Bourne to conduct the research which was part of an international survey of 500 businesses in the UK, France, Germany and USA to better understand how organisations in each country were affected by ransomware and whether or not they chose to pay their attackers.

The research, conducted in February 2018, compared results with a similar survey carried out in 2016 to reveal that the percentage of companies experiencing ransomware has grown from 48 per cent in 2016 to 56 per cent in 2018.  However, the average number of attacks per year did fall from six to five.  

They study sheds light on the fact that employees are seen as the culprits (opens in new tab) responsible for bringing malware into their organisation with one in two respondents blaming them for infecting their business.  

SentinelOne's research also revealed that the four countries have responded quite differently to ransomware.  The UK has been the most effective in combatting these attacks and the most resolute when it comes to refusing to pay ransom demands.  The UK experienced the fewest attacks at 40 per cent, followed by 55 per cent in the USA, 59 per cent in France and 70 per cent in Germany.  Ransom payments have almost entirely disappeared in the UK with just 3 per cent of today's ransom demands being paid.  

Director of Product Management at SentinelOne, Migo Kedem offered more details on the research in a press release (opens in new tab), saying:  

“It’s staggering to see the cost to British businesses of £346 million. This figure shows that businesses are becoming increasingly aware that it’s not just the ransom demand, but rather the ancillary costs of downtime, staff time, lost business, as well as the data recovery costs and reputational damage that are the biggest concern to British businesses.”  

Image Credit:  WK1003Mike / Shutterstock 

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.