• A fifth of businesses hit by ransomware stop trading

Almost 40% of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack in the past year, and of these a fifth have stopped trading, according to global research by Malwarebytes.

The report also revealed that over a third of companies surveyed had lost revenue because of the attack, with over 40% paying money to the hacker. In 60% of attacks, the hackers demanded over $1000, 20% asked for more than $10,000, and 1% required $150,000 minimum to halt the attack.

Nathan Scott, senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, said: “Over the last four years, ransomware has evolved into one of the biggest cyber security threats in the wild, with instances of ransomware in exploit kits increasing 259% in the last five months alone.”

The study showed that ransomware attacks can cost time as well as money, with more than 60% of attacks taking over nine hours to remediate. Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents said that they spent more than a whole working day repairing endpoints.

Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, added: “The results from this survey further emphasise that any business in any region is incredibly vulnerable to ransomware. Cybercriminals are increasing their use of ransomware in their attack strategies globally, causing business disruption, loss of files and wasted IT man-hours.

“In order to stay safe, businesses must invest heavily in both employee education and technology.”