A recent report from Osterman Research and Malwarebytes called “State of Ransomware” explored ransomware attack frequency, how it works in an enterprise environment, ransom cost, infiltration points, impact and enterprise preparedness. Their findings as to the behavior of ransomware victims on a global as well as a national scale are rather interesting.

Startling Numbers

The report found that nearly 40 percent of businesses surveyed experienced a ransomware attack within the last year. More than one-third of the victims said that they lost revenue from the attack.

Surprisingly, 20 percent of the respondents were forced to halt their business completely due to the ransomware attack, according to the report.

Nearly half (46 percent) of international respondents indicated that the incidents originated from email. For this same group, nearly 60 percent of attacks demanded over $1,000 as payment. The report also stated that over 20 percent of attacks on international users demanded more than $10,000, while 1 percent of the attacks asked for over $150,000.

To Pay or Not to Pay?

Forty percent of global respondents said they paid the ransom attackers demanded. In Canada, 75 percent of enterprise victims paid up, compared to 58 percent in the U.K. and 22 percent in Germany. This is in stark contrast to the U.S., where 97 percent of the companies surveyed did not pay the ransom.

According to the report, the Canadian organizations that were the most likely to pay ransom demands had a good reason: If they didn’t pay the cybercriminals, 82 percent of victims lost files.

US Versus Global Ransomware Victims

According to CSO Online, the disparity between countries is “partly due to the fact that, in the United States, the attacks were much more likely to hit lower-level employees.”

U.S. enterprises reported that 71 percent of lower-level staff were hit with ransomware attacks. This compares to significantly smaller percentages in the U.K. (29 percent), Canada (23 percent) and Germany (14 percent).

American infections were also less likely to spread to other computers, according to CSO Online, with only 9 percent of respondents reporting a spread to more than 25 percent of enterprise endpoints. Other countries ranged from 17 to 41 percent in this measurement.

The geographical difference in ransomware response in the enterprise is obvious. Whatever the reasons for that difference, ransomware remains a constant threat to the enterprise and its operations.

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