Ransomware afflicts 48% of UK enterprises

Large businesses at high risk of ransomware, but are under prepared to deal with it

Red skull and crossbones atop binary code

Almost half of large UK businesses have suffered a ransomware attack in the past year, with nearly one third fearing that, although the situation has been resolved, the criminals may still be lurking in their systems.

Citrix surveyed 500 UK-based IT decision makers in companies with 250 or more employees, finding that 45% had fallen victim to a successful ransomware attack.

Despite this history of victimhood, the research also found that 11% of businesses this size don't have a formal ransomware policy in place and while 50% said plans are in place to have such a policy within the next 12 months, 38% said no such plans existed.

Knowing how to deal with a ransomware infection should one occur is increasingly important, though, as this strain of malware becomes ever more popular.

"A lot of this is about isolating a potentially infected machine, deciding whether you're going to pay the ransom or not  there's a business choice to be made there - and then being able to build confidence that you have actually dealt with the ransomware attack and it isn't still lurking there," Chris Mayers, chief security architect at Citrix, told IT Pro.

This third element is also a current cause for concern, with 36% of those surveyed who had fallen victim to ransomware in the past 12 months telling Citrix they doubted all traces of that attack had been fully removed.

Ultimately, said Mayers, companies need to ensure they have a ransomware plan in place, including knowing who makes the decision as to whether or not to pay, as well as being sure they can isolate the infected machine(s) and having a solid backup-and-recovery plan in place.

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