Almost half of US businesses hit by ransomware, says study

US companies rarely paid the ransom

The threat of ransomware is becoming widespread among corporations, with almost half of U.S. businesses suffering an attack from the nasty form of malware recently, according to a new survey.

Security firm Malwarebytes sponsored the study, which found in June that 41 percent of U.S. businesses had at least encountered between one to five ransomware attacks in the previous 12 months.

Another 6 percent saw six or more attacks.

The study surveyed corporations in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Germany to gauge how ransomware affected their operations.

ransomware figure

The malware, which can infect a computer and take the data hostage, can be bad for business. 34 percent of the victim corporations in the countries surveyed reported losing revenue because the ransomware had prevented access to important files.

U.S. businesses victimized by the malware generally didn’t suffer a heavy toll and only 6 percent of them reported losing revenue. In most cases, the malicious code only affected personal files.

The survey also looked at how the ransomware was affecting these enterprises, and found that generally the malware had been designed to affect desktop PCs or laptops. The infection often came through links and attachments inside emails, or from a website or web application.

The response of companies to the threat varied across countries. In the U.S, only 3 percent of the businesses hit by the ransomware decided to pay the hackers.

That’s a big difference from the Canadian businesses surveyed, of which 75 percent said they agreed to pay the ransom.

The survey said this was probably because the ransomware attacks in the U.S. often target lower-level employees and tend to only infect a few computers.

ransomware figure2 Osterman Research

More amateur cyber criminals are probably indiscriminately spreading ransomware in the U.S. like spam, the survey added. Low-level ransom demands of up to US$500 are prevalent in the U.S. However, high ransom demands of over $10,000 are more common in Germany.

Malwarebytes sponsored Osterman Research to conduct the study by surveying 540 CIOs, CISOs and IT directors across the four countries.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?