Only a third of businesses have taken out insurance against ransomware attacks

Almost one in six also reported having no disaster recovery plan in place

Only a third (35.8%) of businesses have insurance cover for ransomware attacks, despite it being one of the most common forms of cyber threat.

That's according to a survey of more than 820 organisations by Hornetsecurity, which shared the findings exclusively with IT Pro.

The findings show that one in five (21.1%) had fallen victim to a ransomware attack, while almost one in 10 (9.2%) were forced to pay the ransom to recover data after an attack. This comes just weeks after a Unit 42 report found that ransomware payments had increased 82% since 2020 to a record $570,000 in the first half of 2021.

Hornetsecurity's report also revealed that of those reporting ransomware, just under 12% of respondents were able to recover data through backups, although some data was still lost during this process. The report added that the rise in prevalence of ransomware has prompted 71.3% of organisations to reconsider the ways they back up their data.

The two most common forms of prevention were end-point detection software with anti-ransomware capabilities (75.6%), and email filtration and threat analysis (76.1%). However, it also found a comparably low uptake (47.8%) in the use of air-gapped, offsite storage, which is highly effective in recovering data.

Despite the rising threat of ransomware, Hornetsecurity found that education on how to prevent ransomware attacks can be lacking, and employees often believe in cyber security myths. More than a quarter (28.7%) of surveyed organisations do not provide training to end-users on how to recognise and handle potential ransomware threats, despite them being the easiest targets of social engineering techniques such as phishing.

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Another 22.2% of those surveyed believe that Microsoft 365 data is immune to ransomware attacks, or stated that they don’t know whether it can be affected. This view can be dangerous for businesses: although notably secure, Microsoft 365 can fall victim to ransomware through malicious attachments sent via email or a potential system vulnerability.

Almost one in six (15.9%) of respondents also reported having no disaster recovery plan in place, making them unprepared to deal with a potential ransomware attack.

Hornetsecurity’s findings come days after CISA, the FBI, and the National Security Agency (NSA) released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) warning organisations of increased threat of Conti attacks.

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