UK Companies Commonly Held Hostage by Hackers

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Jul 05, 2015 06:00 pm PST

ESET study reveals that 84 percent of companies would be crushed if infected by ransomware and 31 percent would have no choice but to pay the hackers

Over a third of UK companies have either personally been held to ransom by hackers or know someone that has had their networks infected by ransomware, a new study from ESET has revealed.

The study, which was carried out at Infosecurity Europe in June 2015 and examined the attitudes of 200 security professionals, also revealed that 84 percent of respondents believe that their company would be seriously damaged if it was ever infected by ransomware. However, 31 percent of respondents admitted that if they were infected by ransomware they would have no choice but to pay the fine because the alternative would mean losing all the data on their computer.

Commenting on the findings from the study, Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said: “Ransomware is one of the most frightening types of malware due to its destructive power. The results from our study are very concerning as it seems that IT security professionals still do not understand how to properly deal with ransomware. With all ransomware infections the biggest problem we face is the decision on how we deal with the attack. Our options are limited to either paying the ransom, which is definitely not recommended, or we can restore from backup, however depending on how often you back up your files, this can mean losing a lot of data.”

Ransomware can be among the most frightening forms of computer invasion. The attack involves someone’s computer screen being replaced by a message that appears to be from the police, demanding money, or a message saying your files are lost unless you pay a ransom to unlock them. Over the last year cyber criminals have developed a number of new ransomware variants which have allowed hackers to encrypt their victims’ data, which has forced more people to pay the ransom.

“If you do manage to get yourself infected and all your files are encrypted then you only have one option, you have to restore from backup. With the massive amount of backup solutions available these days it really is very inexpensive to do and frequent backups can literally save your business. Any company that pays the ransom is funding criminals, and as long as hackers find ransomware to be profitable, the more effort they will put into building even more sophisticated variants, which will get harder and harder to remove,” continued James.

[su_box title=”About ESET” style=”noise” box_color=”#336588″]

ESETSince 1987, ESET® has been developing award-winning security software that now helps over 100 million users to Enjoy Safer Technology. Its broad security product portfolio covers all popular platforms and provides businesses and consumers around the world with the perfect balance of performance and proactive protection. The company has a global sales network covering 180 countries, and regional offices in Bratislava, San Diego, Singapore and Buenos Aires.[/su_box]

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