Ransomware: 69% of UK companies fear being targeted in the next year

The Trend Micro report’s Ransomware: The Truth Behind the Headlines sheds lights on how IT decision makers in the United Kingdom perceive ransomware attacks. Although lack of awareness about this threat is still a problem (20% of respondents didn’t know how it works and a further 11% have never heard of it before) 82% of professionals recognised that ransomware is a real threat to their organisation.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that blocks access to devices and files until a ransom is paid. As soon as the malicious code spreads through the system, files are blocked off or encrypted, and you lose the ability to access them.

Never pay the ransom; don’t play the fraudsters’ game

Paying the ransom doesn’t always guarantee that you get your data back. It’s always a bet – 65% of IT decision makers said their organisation paid the ransom, but 20% of them didn’t get their data back. The top three reasons they paid the ransom were:

  • Fear of being fined for a potential breach of the encrypted data – 37%
  • The data was highly confidential – 32%
  • The ransom was so low it could be counted as a cost of business – 29%

Fear of becoming a victim of ransomware is escalating: 69% of professionals believed that their organisation will be targeted in the next 12 months.

How does ransomware get into your system?

Phishing emails, bogus social media posts and unsecure mobile apps are the sorts of place that cyber criminals hide malicious software, waiting for inattentive employees to click on bogus links or attachments. Quicker than you realise, your system is blocked and your files encrypted. Once the malware is in your system, there is little you can do.

Staff education to reduce the risk of ransomware

Educating your staff to recognise phishing emails and malicious social media posts can protect your company from being infected by ransomware. The more your employees know about this threat, what it is and how it works, the more diligently they can avoid cyber threats. 70% of IT decision makers stated that their organisations have already rolled out education programmes to empower their workforce. Follow their example and enrol your staff on the Phishing Staff Awareness e-learning course.

Minimise the threat of malware infections with staff education!