Sophos releases 2024 ransomware report in financial services

Sophos, a provider of cybersecurity solutions, has unveiled its 2024 ransomware report focused on the financial services sector.

Sophos report on Ransomware in Financial Services 2024

The study, based on responses from 592 IT and cybersecurity leaders, offers a detailed look at the ransomware landscape, providing invaluable insights into the challenges and responses within the financial services industry.

Key Findings:

Attack Rates and Recovery Costs:

The incidence of ransomware attacks has remained relatively steady, with 65 percent of financial services organizations experiencing an attack in 2024, comparable to 64 percent in 2023. Despite this stability, the cost of recovery has surged to an average of $2.58 million per incident, up from $2.23 million in 2023.

Impact on Devices:

Financial services organizations saw a significant number of devices impacted by ransomware, with an average of 43 percent of computers affected per attack. This is slightly below the cross-sector average of 49 percent. Full environment encryption remains rare, reported by only 4 percent of organizations.

Backup Compromises and Data Encryption:

In 90 percent of ransomware incidents, attackers attempted to compromise backups, with a success rate of 48 percent – one of the lowest across all sectors. Notably, the rate of data encryption in these attacks fell sharply to 49 percent, a substantial decline from 81 percent in 2023. This marks the lowest encryption rate among all sectors surveyed and highlights the financial sector’s effectiveness in thwarting encryption attempts.

Ransom Payments and Data Recovery:

The trend towards paying ransoms is increasing. While 62 percent of organizations managed to restore data from backups, 51 percent resorted to paying the ransom. This is a notable increase from 2023, where 69 percent used backups and only 43 percent paid the ransom. Additionally, 37 percent of organizations used multiple methods to recover data, more than double the 16 percent reported in the previous year.

Ransom Amounts Paid:

Among organizations that paid ransoms, the median payment amount skyrocketed from $109,000 to $2 million over the past year. However, only 18 percent of these organizations paid the initial ransom demand, with the majority negotiating lower amounts.

Law Enforcement and Ransom Negotiations:

The report also delves into the role of law enforcement in ransomware incidents, exploring how frequently financial services organizations receive support to remediate attacks. Insights into ransom demands versus actual payments further illuminate the negotiation dynamics in these scenarios.

Survey Methodology:

The 2024 State of Ransomware report is based on an independent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne, covering 5,000 IT and cybersecurity leaders from 14 countries, including 592 from the financial services sector. The respondents, representing organizations with 100 to 5,000 employees, provided data reflecting their experiences over the previous year. News Desk

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