Almost half of Canadian organizations opt to pay off threat actors – cyber report

However, only 42% of those who paid actually recovered their data

Almost half of Canadian organizations opt to pay off threat actors – cyber report


By Lyle Adriano

A new survey conducted by Telus found that almost half of the Canadian organizations that recently suffered a ransomware attack chose to pay off the threat actors.

Some 463 respondents participated in the survey, 67% of which said that their organization had been hit by ransomware. Of those who said they were affected by ransomware, 44% indicated that they had paid a ransom.

The average ransom paid by the survey’s respondents was $140,000 – this amount is not inclusive of the indirect costs of the breach, such as lost revenue, hardware/software replacement, delays or canceled IT/business projects, or loss of employee productivity. It was also found that larger organizations paid more to release their systems from malware.

But Telus also discovered that even though victims chose to pay, there was no real guarantee that they would retrieve their encrypted systems, as only 42% of those who paid the ransom said they got full access to their data back. By comparison, 49% said they only got partial access back, and the remaining 7% said their access was never restored.

The report also notably found that 15% of respondents whose organizations were hit by ransomware said that they were re-infected by the same malware after recovery.

“The ransom payment is what gets the headlines but it really only accounts for 16 per cent of the total costs to get back to business as usual,” Telus Business senior strategy manager Kevin Lonergan told IT World Canada.

“Given today’s hyper-competitive market,” he said, “where technology drives competitive advantage, seeing 45% of organizations report delayed or cancelled IT projects and 37% report delayed or cancelled business investments, it becomes clear how an incident could set an organization behind its competitors and cost them future market share.”

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