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Gartner, Cool Vendors in Security Operations, Toby Bussa, Mitchell Schneider, Kelly Kavanagh, John Collins, Craig Lawson, Pete Shoard, 18 June 2021

The Growing Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware cyber-attacks are more prevalent than ever. Accelerated by the pandemic, we witnessed surges across all sectors; Higher Education, Local & Regional Government and Energy/Utilities. In fact, according to security incident figures collected by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), the education sector alone reported the third-highest ransomware incidents since April 2020.

Human-operated ransomware attacks, such as Ryuk, emphasised the trend of having more targeted and tailored ransomware attacks rather than using a massive spam campaign, which allows the attackers to make sure they hit the most critical parts of the organisation and have a higher chance of getting paid.

The real cost of a ransomware attack

Cyber breach costs are often based on the ransom amount paid, legal and regulatory penalties, purchasing of new equipment and external services.  It rarely considers the true cost of a breach; downtime and loss of productivity, reputational damage resulting in lost business – a significant impact for any organisation to recover.

Preparation and early detection can help reduce the impact, provide confidence to the staff and business, improve processes and reduce the overall time it takes to recover from the incident.

“A good backup process and strategy is the primary line of defense against ransomware”. Gartner recommends Security & risk management leaders look beyond just endpoints to protect their organisation from ransomware.

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Gartner, How to Prepare for Ransomware Attacks, Mark Harris, Brad LaPorte, Paul Furtado, November 2020.

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