Through a study that reveals that scale of havoc wreaked by ransomware among businesses, researchers have said that nearly 40 per cent of businesses have been affected by ransomware attack with 40 per cent of the victims paying the ransom to get their data back.

The situation gets grimmer as it was also revealed that 34 per cent of businesses who were victims of such attacks witness their revenues decline to the point that 20 per cent of the victims even had to cease their operations immediately. Conducted by Osterman Research through funding from Malwarebytes the report entitled “State of Ransomware” should serve as an eye opener for businesses as well as members of the general public that ransomware attacks are becoming a major threat and making sure that you don’t lose your data is of paramount importance.

Going deep into the report, we find that one of the major sources of ransomware attack was email with as many as 46 per cent of all attacks originating through that communication medium indicating that attackers still rely on one of the most used forms of communication on the Internet.

When it comes to the amount demanded as ransom, 60 per cent of all enterprise victims were asked to pay up over $1,000 as ransom to get their data back, while 20 per cent were asked to pay more than $10,000 and 1 per cent even asked for over $150,000. So how many paid up? Owing to the lack of necessary tools and precautions against such attacks, as many as 40 per cent of the victims decided to pay up the demanded ransom so as to get their valuable data back.

Industry wise bifurcation of attacks indicate that the worst hit are healthcare and financial service industries. Researchers also found that 3.5 per cent victims even said lives were at stake because of ransomware’s debilitating effects.

So what’s the way out? Backing up of data is still the primary means of mitigating against such attacks with over 71 per cent victims resorting to such tactics. This indicates that security measures are still a distant choice.

Researchers also revealed some country specific data. According to the report, nearly 80 per cent of U.S. companies have suffered a cyber attack in the last year and more than half experienced a ransomware incident. US organizations are the most attacked among the countries surveyed. Nearly 80 per cent of the U.S. organizations breached had high-value data held for ransom. Check out the full report here.

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