73 per cent of Indian firms report being ransomware victim in 2023: Report- QHN

Cyberattacks in India have tripled in the last three years.

Representative Image: Ransomware attacks

The rate of ransomware attacks in India has increased significantly in recent years. According to a recent report by cybersecurity company Sophos, 73 per cent of Indian firms have been victims of ransomware attacks, up from 57 per cent the previous year.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom payment in order to decrypt them. Ransomware attacks can have a devastating impact on businesses, as they can lead to data loss, productivity losses, and reputational damage

About 77 per cent of ransomware attacks against surveyed organisations succeeded in encrypting data, but only 44 per cent paid the ransom to recover their data — a significant drop from 78 per cent last year, according to cybersecurity company Sophos.

When the main causes of ransomware attacks were examined, exploited vulnerability (in 35 per cent of cases), followed by compromised credentials (in 33 per cent of cases) emerged as the chief causes.

“Although dipping slightly from the previous year, the rate of encryption remains high at 77 per cent, which is certainly concerning. Ransomware crews have been refining their methodologies of attack and accelerating their attacks to reduce the time for defenders to disrupt their schemes,” said Chester Wisniewski, field chief technology officer, Sophos.

The report said that in 30 per cent of the cases where data was encrypted, data was also stolen, implying that the “double dip” method — data encryption and data exfiltration — was becoming commonplace off late. 

“Human-led threat hunting is very effective at stopping these criminals in their tracks, but alerts must be investigated, and criminals evicted from systems in hours and days, not weeks and months,” Wisniewski added.

First Published: May 24 2023 | 11:48 PM IST

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