90% Of Organisations In The UAE That Paid A Ransom Demand Were Hit Again


Cybereason, the XDR company, published the results of their second annual ransomware study during a year of unprecedented attacks to better understand the true impact on businesses. The global study reveals that 77 per cent of UAE organisations suffered at least one ransomware attack over the past 24 months.

The study once again finds that ‘it doesn’t pay-to-play a ransom demand, as 90 per cent of UAE organisations that paid were hit by ransomware a second time, with 83 per cent saying the second attack came in less than a month and 78 per cent reporting that threat actors demanded a higher ransom amount.

The report, titled Ransomware: The True Cost to Business Study 2022, further revealed that of the UAE organisations who opted to pay a ransom demand to regain access to their encrypted systems, 45 per cent reported that some or all of the data was corrupted during the recovery process. These findings underscore why it does not pay ransomware attackers and that organisations should focus on detection and prevention strategies to end ransomware attacks at the earliest stages before critical systems and data are jeopardised.

“Ransomware attacks are traumatic events, and when ransomware gangs attack a second, third or fourth time in a matter of weeks, it can bring an organisation to its collective knees.  Deploying effective anti-ransomware solutions is easier said than done, and the hackers know it. After being hit the first time by a ransomware attack, organisations need time to assess their security posture, determine the right tools to deploy, and then find the budget to pay for it. The ransomware gangs know this and it is the biggest reason they strike again quickly,” said Lior Div, Cybereason CEO and Co-founder.

Other key UAE findings in the research include:

  • Customers at Heart of Attacks: 70 per cent of companies (16 per cent higher than the global average) said attackers were after customer data.
  • Senior Leadership Attrition: 37 per cent of companies suffered C-level resignations following a ransomware attack.
  • Layoffs Result from Ransomware Attacks: 37 per cent of organisations laid off staff due to the attack.
  • Ransomware Attacks Lead to Business Disruptions: 85 per cent of businesses (19 per cent higher than the global average) were forced to temporarily or permanently suspend operations following a ransomware attack.
  • Ransom Demands Increase with Each Attack: 78 per cent of companies (11 per cent higher than the global average) paid a higher ransom demand the second time.
  • Organisations Don’t Have the Right Tools: An overwhelming 92 per cent of organisations admitted that ransomware gangs were in their network between one month to a year before they discovered them. This points to the double extortion model where attackers steal sensitive data and then threaten to make it public if the ransom demand is not paid.

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