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India most targeted country for ransomware attacks: Sophos survey

Kiran Rathee/New Delhi 14 Mar 18 | 05:38 PM

Amid the increasing number of ransonware attacks, organisations in the country are finding themselves more vulnerable as India was the most targeted country.

As per a survey conducted by network security firm Sophos, around 67 per cent of Indian organisations were hit by ransomware and 38 per cent twice. Infact, Indian organisations median cost stood at USD 1.17 million to rectify the impact of ransomware.

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The survey, conducted in October and November 2017, covered 300 businesses in India across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. Overall, the survey polled more than 2,700 IT decision makers across mid-sized businesses in 10 countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa and India.

The survey concludes that despite the intensity and magnitude of attacks, Indian businesses are still not prepared to defend itself against determined attackers. "Unlike lightening, ransomware can strike again and again to the same organisation. We're aware of cybercriminals unleashing four different ransomware families in half-hour increments to ensure at least one evades security and completes the attack," Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales at Sophos India and SAARC said.

According to those impacted by ransomware last year, the median total cost of a ransomware attack was USD 133,000. Indian organisations median total cost stood at USD 1.17 million, the highest, in rectifying the impacts of ransomware. This extends beyond any ransom demanded and includes downtime, manpower, device cost, network cost, and lost opportunities.

The attack methodology combined with the growth in ransomware-as-a-service and anticipation of more complex threats along with the resurgence of worms like WannaCry and NotPetya puts businesses in serious need of a security makeover, the survey said.

"In fact, more than 90 per cent of Indian IT decision makers surveyed impacted by ransomware were running up to date endpoint protection, confirming that traditional endpoint security is no longer enough to protect against today's ransomware attacks," it added.

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