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Cybersecurity Concerns Rise as Two-Thirds of Companies hit by Ransomware

Michael Behr

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Cybersecurity ransomware
Despite major concerns about ransomware attacks, there is still a lot that companies can be doing to protect themselves.

New cybersecurity research has found that two-thirds of organisations have been targeted by at least one ransomware attack.

According to research found in Fortinet’s 2021 Global State of Ransomware Report, ransomware is the main cyberthreat concerning organisations.

The cybersecurity group found that 94% of the 455 business leaders surveyed said they were concerned about ransomware threats, with 76% saying they were very or extremely concerned. Of these, 85% said that ransomware is more concerning than other cyberthreats.

Organisations’ top concerns over ransomware attacks were the risk of losing data, with the loss of productivity and the interruption of operations following closely behind.

An incident response plan had been implemented at 84% of organisations, with 57% saying that cybersecurity insurance formed part of their plan.

Should they need to pay a ransom, 49% said the procedure was to pay the ransom outright, and 25% said it depends on how expensive the ransom is. Of the one-quarter who paid the ransom, most, but not all, got their data back.

Fortinet’s survey found that most groups said they made preparations for a ransomware attack – such as employee cyber training, risk assessment plans, and cybersecurity insurance.

However, Fortinet warned that there was a clear gap in what many respondents viewed as essential technology solutions for protection, and the technology that can best guard against the most common methods cybercriminals use to enter networks.


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By reviewing the technologies put in place by organisations, Fortinet found that most organisations were concerned about the vulnerabilities caused by remote workers and devices. As such, around half of all companies had implemented secure web gateways (SWGs), VPNs and IoT security.

But Fortinet warned that companies have been slow to implement certain critical technologies. Segmentation, for example, which prevents intruders from moving across the network, had only been implemented in 31% of surveyed groups.

In addition, only 33% of companies use secure email gateways, which can help protect against the growing threat from phishing attacks.

Fortinet CMO and EVP of Products John Maddison said: “According to a recent FortiGuard Labs Global Threat Landscape report, ransomware grew 1,070% year over year. Unsurprisingly, organisations cited the evolving threat landscape as one of the top challenges in preventing ransomware attacks.

“As evidenced by our ransomware survey, there is a huge opportunity for the adoption of technology solutions like segmentation, SD-WAN, ZTNA, as well as SEG and EDR, to help protect against the threat of ransomware and the methods of access most commonly reported by respondents.

“The high amount of attacks demonstrates the urgency for organisations to ensure their security addresses the latest ransomware attack techniques across networks, endpoints, and clouds.

“The good news is that organisations are recognising the value of a platform approach to ransomware defence.”

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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