Ransomware Victims Rarely Get Data Back After Paying

A ransomware attack can bring some of the biggest companies in the world to their knees. This has become an increasingly troublesome issue in the past four years due to the growing frequency of such attacks, and some rather shocking data has revealed that these attacks are actually a great deal more damaging than was previously thought. The general assumption around ransomware was that if you suffered from an attack you could simply regain access to your data once you paid the ransom, but new data from Sophos shows that the likelihood of a ransomware victim regaining all of their data is slim to none.

This year organization that fall prey to such attacks have been more likely to pay up the ransom. Whereas in 2020 only 26% of ransomware attacks saw the victims paying the ransom, in 2021 that number went up to 32%. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the vast majority of these ransom payers ended up regretting their actions. A miniscule 8% of them got their data back in its entirety (which means 92% of businesses don't get all of their data back), with 29% losing half of their data. This makes it clear that paying off malicious actors might not be the best way to go about dealing with this type of situation.

This correlates to costs associated with ransomware attacks more than doubling over the course of a year, going from $761,106 a year ago to over $1.8 million this year. On average, a company that suffers a ransomware attack has to pay about $170,000 to meet the demands of the malicious actors, making this one of the most profitable criminal activities that an organized group can possibly take part in.

However, while these numbers are most definitely quite high, they are not even close to the kinds of numbers we often see being reported in the media. A good example of this can be seen with Apple which suffered a ransomware attack where the required ransom was a massive $50 million. That said, this is not the amount that Apple or any other company would pay if they acquiesce to the demands because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up bankrupting the company and would therefore not be a worthy option to explore in this regard.

Rather, the company in question would negotiate a fairer amount with the malicious actors which often results in payments being a lot lower than initially reported. This does not change the fact that the organizations involved with ransomware attacks have gotten incredibly efficient over the years. Their capabilities are increasing, as is the amount of damage they can end up doing at any given point in time.

It is imperative that tech companies start to find a way to fix this issue before it becomes a great deal more significant in the years to come. Ransomware implementers know that the value of the data they sequester is usually a lot higher than the ransom they demand which makes a lot of companies prone to take the risk even though it is now widely known that it most likely wouldn’t end in a positive result for them.

Read next: Due to the pandemic, more consumers have fallen prey to cybercriminals and their activities
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