Security experts typically advise against paying for stolen data after ransomware attacks, but 55% of executives at small to midsize businesses say they would do exactly that.
The number jumps to 74% among larger SMBs with 150 to 250 employees, as stated in the AppRiver Cyberthreat Index for Business Survey. Nearly 40% went so far as to say they "definitely" would pay the ransom, at almost any price, to prevent leakage or loss of data.
Some respondents said the opposite. Forty-five percent of SMB leaders polled said they would not give in to attackers regardless of the ransom. Some SMBs in the legal services and nonprofit sector seem willing to pay ransom in exchange for stolen data, with 67% and 60%, respectively, saying they wouldn't work with cybercriminals regardless of the ransom amount or data value.
Separate research shows attackers are getting greedier with ransom demands: The average ransom amount paid by victims in cases handled by Coverware jumped 89%, from $6,733 in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $12,762 in the first quarter of 2019. Still, companies willing to pay generally get their data back: In 96% of cases, paying victims received a decryption key.
Security pros advise businesses to implement stronger data protection practices, update their systems, conduct regular backups, and educate their users on ransomware tactics instead of putting funds aside to prepare for a ransomware attack.
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