Over 40 per cent of UK firms who admit suffering security breaches have reported attacks by ransomware, UK IT reseller Foursys has found.
In a study of over 400 UK companies of all sizes – including SMBs – in the public and private sectors, Foursys asked each company whether it had been a victim of a security breach in 2015. The vast majority (69.2 per cent) said no, while 15.8 per cent said yes, and a further 15.8 per cent said that they did not wish to disclose whether they had been breached or not.

Those respondents who said ‘yes’ were then asked to specify which kinds of security breaches they suffered.
Unsurprisingly, malware (59.7 per cent) and phishing attacks (51.6 per cent) were the top two – echoing the findings of Computing’s research into the main threats that are currently increasing in either severity or frequency, with phishing/spearphishing coming out on top (65 per cent) and malware/viruses/Trojans as second (58 per cent).
More surprisingly, 41.9 per cent of those firms suffering a security breach said they had been victims of ransomware.
“[This means] that one or more devices in their organisation had been subjected to malicious encryption pending a payment in return for an encryption key,” Foursys said.
“This is a worrying figure,” it added.
Other types of security breaches included data leakage (15.8 per cent), website breach (15.8 per cent), a hacker within the network (1.6 per cent) and compromised user credentials (6.5 per cent).
As for the impact of all of these types of security breaches, 79 per cent said they suffered a limited disruption to their IT systems, 11.3 per cent said they lost data, and 9.7 per cent said there was significant disruption to their IT systems. None of the respondents said there was any permanent damage to their IT systems.
Another worrying stat from the survey was that when all 400 UK organisations were asked to rate how well equipped their business is for 2016’s IT security threats, over half (50.7 per cent) gave themselves a mark of between one and three out of 10, and 43.9 per cent gave themselves a mark between four and seven. Only 5.3 per cent were confident enough to rate themselves eight or more out of 10.

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