Cyber attacks: 66% of Indian organisations paid ransom to retrieve data access

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on June 24, 2020

There has been a sharp increase in the number of ransomware attacks on Indian organisations, and with that the ransomware kitty has also witnessed a spike.

According to a recent survey, Indian organisations have incurred costs of around ₹8.02 crore to rectify the impact of each ransomware attack, hinting at the seriousness of the cyber attack.

However, only 8 per cent of victims were able to stop the attack before their data could be encrypted, compared with a global average of 24 per cent.

While one-third of respondents said they could recover the (stolen) data from back-ups without having to pay a cent to the hackers, 66 per cent of the organisations said they paid ransom to get the data released.

The hackers seem to be more focussed on their targets. Moving away from ‘spray and pray’ (generalised attacks), they seem to be targetting the most lucrative targets to earn more coin.

About 82 per cent of the organisations were hit by ransomware attacks in the last six months, which is an increase of 15 per cent over the same period in 2017.

Cyber security solutions firm Sophos has commissioned a survey on the state of ransomware attacks across the world. As many as 5,000 IT managers in over 26 countries were interviewed for the survey. The sample size included 300 managers from India.

The attacks seemed to be uniform across the cities. While 85 per cent of the organisations were hit in Delhi, 83 per cent organisations in Bengaluru, 81 per cent each in Kolkata and Mumbai, 79 per cent in Chennai and 71 per cent organisations in Hyderabad were impacted by the ransomware attacks.

Soon gaining access to the systems, the hackers would encrypt the data, demanding a huge ransom to release the data from their clutches. “Bengaluru topped the list with encryption of 97 per cent of the data. This was followed by Delhi with 96 per cent, Mumbai (88 per cent), Hyderabad (88 per cent), Kolkata (87 per cent) and Chennai (68 per cent),” the report said.

Sophos said the companies need to have a full inventory of all the devices that are connected to the network and protect with an updated security solution.

Published on June 24, 2020

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