88% of businesses previously attacked would pay ransom if targeted again – report

88% of businesses previously attacked would pay ransom if targeted again - report

In 88% of organisations previously attacked by ransomware, business leaders would choose to pay a ransom if faced with another attack.

This is according to a Kaspersky report “How business executives perceive ransomware threat” which also revealed that across organisations that have yet to be victimised, only 67% would be willing to pay, and they would be less inclined to do so immediately.

While ransomware remains a prominent threat, with two-thirds (64%) of companies already having suffered an attack, paying ransom seems to be perceived by executives as a reliable way of addressing the issue.

Ransomware has become something of a buzzword in the corporate world, with large attacks on enterprises appearing in headlines week after week and the number of attacks using ransomware almost doubling in 2021 alone, says Kaspersky.

These statistics raise the question of how businesses will react in the event of an attack and what their attitudes towards paying ransoms to the criminals behind them will be.

According to the report, if an organisation has been the victim of ransomware in the past, they are increasingly likely to pay a ransom in the event of a new attack (88%).

These companies are also more inclined to pay as soon as possible to get immediate access to their data (33% of previously attacked companies versus 15% of companies that have never been victimised), or to pay after only a couple of days of unsuccessful decrypting attempts (30% vs. 19%).  

Business leaders within organisations that have previously paid a ransom seem to believe that this is the most effective way to get their data back with 97% of them willing to do this again.

This willingness for companies to pay could be attributed to having little awareness of how to respond to such threats, or to the length of time it takes to restore data, as businesses can lose more money waiting for data restorations than they would paying the ransom. 

Ransomware remains a real threat to cybersecurity. Two-thirds (64%) of companies confirm they have experienced this type of incident and 66% anticipate that an attack on their business will happen at some stage, viewing it as more likely than other common attack types, such as DDoS, supply-chain, APT, cryptomining or cyber-espionage.  

Commenting, Sergey Martsynkyan, VP, Corporate Product Marketing at Kaspersky said, “Ransomware has become a serious threat to corporations with new samples regularly emerging and APT groups using it in advanced attacks. Even an accidental infection can cause problems for a company. And because it’s about the business’ continuity, executives are forced to make tough decisions about paying the ransom.”

“Giving money to criminals is never recommended though, as this doesn’t guarantee that the encrypted data will be returned and it encourages these cybercriminals to do it again. It is important for companies to follow basic security principles and look into reliable security solutions to minimise the risk of a ransomware incident,” concludes Martsynkyan.

The full report is available for download here.