The Last Digital Frontier Brian Asingia Book The Pearl Dream Inc

Nigeria: Data Encryption From Ransomware Reaches Highest Level in 4 Years – Report

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Sophos, a global leader in innovation and delivery of cybersecurity-as-a-service, has released its annual report tagged, “State of Ransomware 2023,” which revealed that hackers succeeded in encrypting data of organisations in 76 per cent of ransomware attacks.

This, according to the report, is the highest rate of data encryption from ransomware since Sophos started issuing the report in 2020.

The survey also revealed that when organisations pay ransom to get their data decrypted, they ended up doubling their recovery costs to as much as $750,000, adding that paying the ransom usually means longer recovery times.

“Overall, 66 per cent of the organisations surveyed were attacked by ransomware, the same percentage as the previous year. This suggests that the rate of ransomware attacks has remained steady, despite any perceived reduction in attacks,” the report said.

Analysing the report, Field CTO at Sophos, Chester Wisniewski, said: “Rates of encryption have returned to very high levels after a temporary dip during the pandemic, which raises concern. Ransomware crews have been refining their methodologies of attack and accelerating their attacks to reduce the time for defenders to disrupt their schemes.

“Incident costs rise significantly when ransoms are paid. Most victims will not be able to recover all their files by simply buying the encryption keys. They must rebuild and recover from backups as well. Paying ransoms not only enriches criminals, but it also slows incident response and adds cost to an already devastatingly expensive situation.”

According to Wisniewski, when analysing the root cause of ransomware attacks, the most common was an exploited vulnerability, followed by compromised credentials.

“Overall, 46 per cent of organisations surveyed that had their data encrypted paid the ransom. However, larger organisations were far more likely to pay. In fact, more than half of businesses with revenue of $500 million or more paid the ransom, with the highest rate reported by those with revenue over $5 billion. This could partially be due to the fact that larger companies are more likely to have a standalone cyber insurance policy that covers ransom payments, “the report said.

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