Email Security

    Ransomware Attacks on the Rise – By the Numbers

    Ransomware attacks aren’t going away. It’s a fact.

    by Jake O'Donnell

    Among the advanced email threats targeting organizations across the globe, ransomware has proven to be among the costliest. By 2019, global losses from ransomware attacks are expected to hit $11.5 billion.

    Despite the best efforts of organizations, ransomware isn’t going away, and the numbers are alarming.

    Earlier this year, Mimecast commissioned research firm Vanson Bourne to survey 800 IT decision makers across the globe to take their pulse on all things email security and cyber resilience.

    Here’s a look at how ransomware is on the rise—by the numbers.

    92%. This is how many organizations have reportedly seen malware/ransomware through email attachments in the last 12 months. This is a particularly popular way for ransomware to be delivered, since it can be easy for users to be duped into opening attachments. In addition, 52% of respondents have seen the volume of these attacks increase over the last year.

    Odds are, ransomware is a bigger problem for your organization now than it was a year ago.

    20%. That’s how many organizations are completely confident their general employees can spot and defend against malware/ransomware through email attachments. Security defenses only fair slightly better: 26% are completely confident their defenses can do the same.

    It’s clear a combination of better cybersecurity awareness training for users and increased defenses against advanced threats is the best way to combat ransomware and similar attack vectors.

    27%. Over a quarter of respondents have seen their business operations impacted by a ransomware attack at some point over the last 12 months. The problem is increased depending on geographic location, with 35% of US organizations impacted and 32% in Australia. The UK faired the best of the nations surveyed at 19%.

    Three. This is the number of days, on average, that respondents’ organizations experienced downtime because of a ransomware attack that impacted business operations. Three days! How much money and productivity would your organization stand to lose if you lost three days due to a ransomware attack?

    Just as alarmingly, 78% of respondents from organizations that experienced an attack reported their downtime lasted more than a day.

    56%. Under six in 10 respondents to the survey are completely confident in their organization’s ability to restore all important files or systems from backup if they were encrypted by ransomware.

    This confidence number is influenced heavily by where an organization stands with their cyber resilience strategy planning or execution. For those in the beginning stages of developing a cyber resilience strategy, planning to adopt a strategy, or with no plans to adopt a strategy, these levels of complete confidence fall dramatically (35%, 34% and 44% respectively).

    By contrast, 80% of organizations with a complete cyber resilience strategy in place are completely confident their ability to get those files back after a ransomware attack.

    Based on these numbers, it’s clear that while adopting a complete cyber resilience strategy may not be a cure-all, it’s the right starting point for any organization looking to get jump on ransomware prevention.

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