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Survey: Over one-third of Israeli organizations hit by ransomware had their data encrypted

Survey: Over one-third of Israeli organizations hit by ransomware had their data encrypted

The average cost of remediating a ransomware attack in Israel was $569,729, one of the lowest costs of all countries according to a survey conducted by cybersecurity company Sophos

CTech | 09:55  04.05.2021
A global survey conducted by cybersecurity company Sophos found that 49% of respondents from Israel had experienced a ransomware attack in the last 12 months, while 35% of organizations that were hit by ransomware had their data encrypted.

According to “The State of Ransomware 2021” survey, the average cost of remediating a ransomware attack in Israel was $569,729, one of the lowest costs of all countries surveyed. Some 46% of respondents from Israel that weren’t hit by ransomware in the last year but expect to be hit in the future, said that ransomware attacks are getting increasingly hard to stop due to their sophistication.
Cybersecurity. Photo: Shutterstock Cybersecurity. Photo: Shutterstock Cybersecurity. Photo: Shutterstock

“Israel is among the countries with the lowest overall ransomware remediation costs despite being a developed economy," said Doron Kahila, Israel country manager, Sophos. "For geopolitical reasons, Israel is a major target for cyberattacks (not just ransomware), resulting in very high levels of cyber defenses, preparedness, and remediation expertise across the country. These combine to lower the financial impact of an attack."

The survey found that the average total cost of recovery globally from a ransomware attack has more than doubled in a year, increasing from $761,106 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021. The average ransom paid is $170,404. The global findings also show that only 8% of organizations managed to get back all of their data after paying a ransom, with 29% getting back no more than half of their data.

The survey polled 5,400 IT decision-makers in mid-sized organizations in 30 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

While the number of organizations that experienced a ransomware attack fell from 51% of respondents surveyed in 2020 to 37% in 2021, and fewer organizations suffered data encryption as the result of a significant attack (54% in 2021 compared to 73% in 2020), the new survey results reveal worrying upward trends, particularly in terms of the impact of a ransomware attack.

“The apparent decline in the number of organizations being hit by ransomware is good news, but it is tempered by the fact that this is likely to reflect, at least in part, changes in attacker behaviors,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist, Sophos. “We’ve seen attackers move from larger scale, generic, automated attacks to more targeted attacks that include human hands-on-keyboard hacking. While the overall number of attacks is lower as a result, our experience shows that the potential for damage from these more advanced and complex targeted attacks is much higher. Such attacks are also harder to recover from, and we see this reflected in the survey in the doubling of overall remediation costs.”

The number of organizations that paid the ransom increased from 26% in 2020 to 32% in 2021, even though fewer than one in 10 (8%) managed to get back all of their data, as previously mentioned.

“The findings confirm the brutal truth that when it comes to ransomware, it doesn’t pay to pay. Despite more organizations opting to pay a ransom, only a tiny minority of those who paid got back all their data,” said Wisniewski. “This could be in part because using decryption keys to recover information can be complicated. What’s more, there’s no guarantee of success. For instance, as we saw recently with DearCry and Black Kingdom ransomware, attacks launched with low quality or hastily compiled code and techniques can make data recovery difficult, if not impossible.”
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