Study shows 91% of organisations fear ransomware attacks

Amid an economic downturn, staffing shortages and endless cyberattacks, financially motivated attacks are the top concern among IT professionals

Financially-motivated cyber attacks are causing the most concern for IT professionals, with latest figures showing nine out of 10 organisations fear financially-motivated attacks like ransomware.

Research by SonicWall, which coincides with Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, found that 66% of customers are more concerned about cyberattacks in 2022.

Companies are not only losing millions of dollars to unending malware and ransomware strikes, but cyberattacks on essential infrastructure are impacting real-world services. Despite the growing concern of cyberattacks, organisations are struggling to keep pace with the fast-moving threat landscape as they orient their business, networks, data and employees against unwavering cyberattacks.

‘No one is safe from cyberattacks’ as ransomware tops concerns for organisations

The report also found there is growing concern regarding cyberattacks. Amongst 66% of organisations surveyed; ransomware leads the distress as 91% of all customers cited it as their biggest concern. Phishing and spear-phishing (76%), as well as encrypted malware (66%), comprised the top three concerns.

There is also a suggestion that organisations are being too slow to patch security concerns. Despite rising cyberattack concerns, the report found 78% of organisations don’t patch critical vulnerabilities within 24 hours of patch availability; another 12% only apply critical patches when time allows.

“No one is safe from cyberattacks — businesses or individuals,” said SonicWall Executive Chairman of the Board Bill Conner. “Today’s business landscape requires persistent digital trust to exist. Supply-chain attacks have dramatically changed the attack surface of the typical enterprise in the past few years, with more suppliers and service providers touching sensitive data than ever before. It’s likely we’ll see continued acceleration and evolution of ransomware tactics, as well as other advanced persistent threats (APTs), as cybercrime continues to scale the globe seeking both valuable and weak targets.”

Skills gap having negative impact on cybersecurity

The ongoing skills crisis is also having an impact on cybersecurity, the report suggests. According to SonicWall, 46% of organisations don’t have enough IT headcount, while only 3% feel they have more than enough headcount to tackle day-to-day security operations.

According to research published earlier this year by the World Economic Forum, there is still a cybersecurity workforce gap of more than 2.72 million positions. While that number has been steadily decreasing year over year, it’s simply not enough. ISC's 2021 Cybersecurity Workforce Study said the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow 65% to effectively defend organisations’ critical assets.

“The evolving cyber threat landscape has made us train our staff significantly more,” said Stafford Fields, IT Director, Cavett Turner & Wyble. “It’s made us spend more on cybersecurity. And what scares me is that an end-user can click on something and bring all our systems down — despite being well protected.”

To explore the complete 2022 SonicWall Threat Mindset Survey, visit here.

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