Keeper Security: 49 Percent of Ransomware Victims Pay Attackers

New research from Keeper Security indicates that targeted ransomware strikes have plagued the modern organization, leading to occasionally costly repercussions. For the “2021 Ransomware Impact Report,” Keeper surveyed 2,000 U.S. employees whose companies were targeted by some form of ransomware attack over the past 12 months.

Key findings included approximately 33 percent of companies being blindsided by ransomware assaults, with 29 percent indicating they were unaware of this type of attack prior to witnessing it firsthand. Perhaps more troublingly is that employees fell victim to numerous common social-engineering schemes, including phishing emails (42 percent), harmful websites (23 percent) and compromised passwords (21 percent).

Most sadly – and despite frequent recommendations by officials to not do so – approximately 49 percent of organizations pay the ransom to avoid further complications.

Keeper also noted that 83 percent of those asked said that their employers were forced to either install new applications or make other changes as a result of the attack; of those, 71 percent marked a disruption to productivity. Common disruptions included loss of login credentials or document access (64 percent), the necessity to have to keep logging in (43 percent) and persistent system reboots or updates (40 percent).

Keeper also noted that 36 percent of those requiring support from an IT department were unable to get assistance because dedicated staff were inundated with ransomware-related issues.

Implications for the workplace included temporary non-access to system or network functions (77 percent), stoppages lasting for seven or more days (28 percent) and – of those who paid money to get around the attack – 93 percent indicated the need for budget cuts as a result.

Other troubling statistics included feelings of taking a reputational hit (64 percent), loss-of-faith in one’s employer (63 percent) and feeling the need to keep attack details secret (15 percent).