67% Indian businesses hit by ransomware: Survey

ANI | Updated: Mar 16, 2018 13:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 16 (ANI): 67 percent Indian businesses have been hit by ransomware, due to which business entities are spending nearly USD 1.17 million to rectify the impact of the cyber attack, a survey conducted by Sophos, a network and endpoint security provider noted.

Titled 'The State of Endpoint Security Today', the survey shows the extent to which Indian businesses are at risk of repeated ransomware attacks and are vulnerable to exploits, for which Sophos polled more than 2,700 IT decision makers across mid-sized businesses in 10 countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa and India.

Ransomware continues to be a major issue across the globe with 54 percent of organisations surveyed hit in the last year and a further 31 percent expecting to be victims of an attack in the future. On average, respondents impacted by ransomware were struck twice.

"Today's persistent cybercriminals are deploying multiple attack methods to succeed, whether using a mix of ransomware in a single campaign, taking advantage of a remote access opportunity, infecting a server, or disabling security software. If IT managers are unable to thoroughly clean ransomware and other threats from their systems after attacks, they could be vulnerable to re-infection. No one can afford to be complacent," said Sophos India and SAARC Managing Director (Sales) Sunil Sharma.

This relentless attack methodology combined, with the growth in Ransomware-as-a-Service, the anticipation of more complex threats, and the resurgence of worms like WannaCry and NotPetya puts businesses in serious need of a security makeover, according to Sophos. In fact, more than 90 percent of Indian IT decision makers surveyed impacted by ransomware were running up to date endpoint protection, confirming that traditional endpoint security is no longer enough to protect against today's ransomware attacks.

According to those impacted by ransomware last year, the median total cost of a ransomware attack was USD 133,000. Indian organisations median total cost stood at USD 1.17 million, the highest, in rectifying the impacts of ransomware. This extends beyond any ransom demanded and includes downtime, manpower, device cost, network cost, and lost opportunities.

IT professionals also need to be aware of how exploits are used to gain access to a company's system for data breaches, distributed-denial-of-service attacks, and cryptomining. Sophos' survey revealed considerable misunderstanding around technologies to stop exploits with 72 percent unable to correctly identify the definition of anti-exploit software.

Intrusions from exploits also have been happening for years but are still a prominent threat and often go undetected for months, if not years. Once inside a system, cybercriminals use complex malware that can hide in memory or camouflage itself. In many cases, businesses do not know they've been breached until someone finds a large cache of stolen data on the Dark Web.

Although 94 percent of respondents admitted their endpoint defenses need to be stronger to block the attacks seen last year, only 34 percent have predictive threat technologies, such as machine or deep learning, leaving 66 percent vulnerable to repeated ransomware attacks, exploits, and evolving advanced threats. Sixty three percent plan to implement predictive threat technology within a year, yet confusion about it persists. Of those surveyed, 37 percent admitted that they do not have a full understanding of the differences between machine learning and deep learning.

"It is important for organisations to keep up in this dynamic world of IT threats. Organisations need effective anti-ransomware, anti-exploit, and deep learning technology to stay secure in 2018 and beyond," said Sunil. (ANI)

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