Study Uncovers 27% Spike in Ransomware; 8% Yield to Demands

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New data has unveiled a 27% rise in ransomware attacks in 2023, with 8% of affected organizations resorting to paying ransoms.

The figures, extracted from the 2024 Thales Data Threat Report, also suggest that less than half of organizations have established formal ransomware response plans. 

In addition to the surge in ransomware attacks, the report identifies malware as the fastest-growing threat, with 41% of enterprises reporting incidents in the past year. Phishing and ransomware attacks targeting cloud assets such as SaaS applications and cloud-based storage are also on the rise, posing significant challenges to organizations’ data security efforts.

Moreover, human error continues to be a leading cause of data breaches for the second consecutive year, highlighting the importance of employee training and awareness in maintaining data security protocols.

The report also underscores the critical link between compliance and data security. In the past year, 43% of enterprises that failed compliance audits experienced breaches, compared to only 3% of compliant organizations. This correlation underscores businesses’ need to prioritize adherence to regulatory standards to mitigate security risks effectively.

Read more on compliance: NCSC Publishes Security Guidance For Cloud-Hosted SCADA

Operational complexity remains a significant challenge, with only a third of organizations able to classify their data fully. Despite efforts to streamline key management systems, businesses still face hurdles navigating multi-cloud environments and evolving data privacy regulations.

“Enterprises need to know exactly what they’re trying to protect. With global data privacy regulations continually changing, they need to have good visibility across their organization to stand any chance of staying compliant,” commented Sebastien Cano, senior vice president at Thales Cloud Protection and Licensing.

“If there’s one key takeaway from this year’s study, it’s that compliance is key,” the executive said, adding that companies that maintain strong compliance processes and successfully pass all their audits are also less likely to experience a breach.

“We’ll start to see more compliance and security functions coming together. This would be a huge positive step to strengthen cyber defenses and build trust with customers," Cano concluded.

The Thales report draws insights from a comprehensive survey of nearly 3000 IT and security professionals across 18 countries and 37 industries.

For more detailed insights on the report’s findings, interested parties can participate in a webinar hosted by S&P Global on April 16 2024, featuring industry experts Eric Hanselman and Justin Lam.

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