Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

8/7/2017
11:50 AM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

HONEST Poll Results: When Should You Pay the Ransom?

When ransomware hits, when should you just pay up? The Security Now community has spoken.

Ransomware has captured the imagination of executives and IT professionals even though, taken in the context of all security issues, it's not really at the top of the list. Unless, of course, you're the one staring at a screen demanding a ransom payment in order to get your data back.

If you do see such a screen, do you pay the ransom or not? That's the question we asked in our most recent poll and the answers provided by our community were decisive. Half of the total taking the poll said that "Never!" is the only right answer when it comes to when a ransom should be paid. Another quarter said that paying up is a last resort, while 16% got judgmental, saying that paying a ransom is an admission that your backup and recover plans aren't what they should be.

As always, we recognize the limitations of our methods. We understand that the polls we conduct here on our pages aren't going to fuel academic research. That's why it's important that we properly label the conclusions. I think it's accurate to call them a Highly Opinionated, Not Especially Scientific Tally -- or, as I like to think of them: HONEST results.

Security Now community member Joe Stanganelli explained his "last resort" vote: "Game theory dictates that you never pay a blackmailer because there's nothing to prevent the blackmailer from blackmailing you again." That's a sentiment explained in more detail in Carl Herberger's recent article here at Security Now.

Herberger pointed out, "paying a ransom provides no safe harbor." He recognized, though, that business considerations often win out over principle when it comes to ransomware. "When facing a ransom attack, many companies must weigh the cost of paying the fee against the cost of downtime or a leak. The decision is not easy because ... paying a ransom just proves that a business is willing to pay."

So what is the "wisdom of the crowd" when it comes to paying a ransom? Stated simply, it's this: Never, ever pay a ransom -- unless you have to.

Related posts:

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
New 'Nanodegree' Program Provides Hands-On Cybersecurity Training
Nicole Ferraro, Contributing Writer,  8/3/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15058
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to elevate privileges because the administrative password can be discovered by sniffing unencrypted UDP traffic.
CVE-2020-15059
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to bypass authentication via a web-administration request that lacks a password parameter.
CVE-2020-15060
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to conduct persistent XSS attacks by leveraging administrative privileges to set a crafted server name.
CVE-2020-15061
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
Lindy 42633 4-Port USB 2.0 Gigabit Network Server 2.078.000 devices allow an attacker on the same network to denial-of-service the device via long input values.
CVE-2020-15062
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-07
DIGITUS DA-70254 4-Port Gigabit Network Hub 2.073.000.E0008 devices allow an attacker on the same network to elevate privileges because the administrative password can be discovered by sniffing unencrypted UDP traffic.