More than half of organizations have been hit with ransomware in last 12 months, making good cyber governance more important than ever

Summary

A CrowdStrike survey conducted in August and September of 2,200 companies across the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Italy, India, Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, France and the Middle East, and across different sectors found that 56% of responding organizations were hit by at least one ransomware attack in the last year. Indian and Australian companies reported the highest breach incidence, and 22% of US companies reported being hit by more than 1 attack during that period. 27% of victims admitted paying the demanded ransom, which averaged $1.1m.

It took an average 117 hours for the companies to detect the breach, essentially unchanged from the findings of the 2019 survey. And while US companies detected breaches more quickly than the global average at 97 hours, this was up markedly year over year. They reported a 67 hour breach detection time in 2019.

Other key findings include:

  • 84% of respondents have accelerated Digital Transformation strategies amid COVID‑19;
  • 79% think COVID‑19 has refocused their organization on improving cyber security, and 73% think that COVID‑19 has ‘proven to be a catalyst for long-awaited approvals on security upgrades’.

Report

Analysis

These survey results are in line with other findings showing the explosion in ransomware in 2020. And despite the apparent confidence most respondents have in their company’s ability to improve cyber security over the coming year, the fact that breach detection times are not improving globally and have increased nearly 50% in the US since 2019, should temper confidence that the ransomware problem is being addressed effectively by most companies.

According to Mandiant Security Validation, 68% of ransomware attacks go unnoticed completely and 91% of attacks generate no alert.

Fortunately, there are steps companies can take to reduce the likelihood of suffering a ransomware attack. As we recently reported, Cyberhedge ratings accurately predict ransomware attacks, showing that there is a strong correlation between a low rating and the likelihood of being breached. And there is also a strong correlation between well executed digital transformation strategies (including cyber) and strong financials and market performance. The fact that 84% of companies report that they are accelerating their digital transformation strategies is therefore one positive development. But the difference between winners and losers today is how well or poorly executed these strategies are.

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These first ever benchmarks prove good cyber governance matters to shareholder value. They measure stock market performance of companies with good and with bad cyber governance scores. Scores are based on Cyberhedge’s proprietary cyber governance rating methodology. Market performance is tracked by an independent firm. The results show that companies with good cyber governance outperform their peers in US, UK, and EU markets.

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