Nearly a third of UK organisations admit they would be willing to pay up for a ransomware attack, with businesses seemingly fearful of the devastating impact on their operations of the likes of WannaCry and NotPetya.
According to a study by Computing magazine, 31% of firms are either “quite likely” or “very likely” to cough up, a rise of 6% from the 2016 survey.
Computing technology analyst Peter Gothard described the rise as “a knock-on [effect of] the seemingly unstoppable force of cheap and cheerful ransomware” that resulted in the spread of WannaCry and NotPetya earlier this year.
In May, the WannaCry attack hit businesses and institutions on a global scale, including the NHS, Telephonica and FedEx. Within weeks, the “NotPetya” attack took down WPP, TNT Express, Reckitt Benkiser, Mondelez International, Maersk and number of Ukrainian firms. Many have since revealed the attack has cost them hundreds of millions of pounds.
“While the [WannaCry] ransomware was pretty unsophisticated in itself, it still managed to affect at least 81 out of 231 health trusts across the UK, either directly or indirectly,” Gothard said. “The National Audit Office’s ensuing investigation revealed, and I quote, ‘an absence of clear guidelines’ on how to carry out a plan, which seemed to ensure there’d be another attack based on the same code.”
Gothard also warned that “all indicators show that ransomware, now it’s proving lucrative and scary, is not going to abate any time soon”.
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