• IBM finds that 70% of businesses pay up when hit by ransomware

An IBM study has found that 70% of businesses infected with ransomware have paid ransoms to regain access to business data and systems.

In comparison, over 50% of consumers surveyed said they would not pay to regain access to personal data or devices. IBM defined ransomware is an extortion technique used by cybercriminals where data on computers and other devices is encrypted and held for ransom until a specified amount of money is paid.

The IBM X-Force study, Ransomware: How Consumers and Businesses Value Their Data, explained that while over half of consumers surveyed initially indicated they would not pay the ransom, when asked about specific data types, 54% indicated they would likely pay to get financial data back.

More than half (55%) of parents surveyed would also be willing to pay for access to digital family photos compared to 39% of respondents without children.

The report said that ransomware was one of the leading cybersecurity threats in 2016 with estimates, based on FBI, that cybercriminals made nearly $1 billion in 2016 from their use of the malware.

The report added that ransomware made up nearly 40% of all spam e-mails sent in 2016, demonstrating a significant increase in the spread of the extortion tool.