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Over Half of Company Execs Are Paying Hacker’s Ransom Demands

A Majority of Executives are Paying Hackers

According to Bitcoinist, a new study has been conducted regarding ransomware attacks and the tendency of those hackers of getting paid.  Merrill Research surveyed 232 executives worldwide, and 69% said their company faced a ransom attack in the past year.  This is a significant jump, considering only 14% of companies reported experiencing attacks in 2016.

What could be more surprising would be the number of executives who have chosen to pay the ransom demands.  Of the 69% of those who reported a ransomware attack, 53% paid the ransom.

Why?  One could speculate a few different reasons.  First, there could be a lack of backups, or it would be too costly to restore their systems using current backups.  Secondly, paying the ransom demand could provide a faster resolution than attempting to remediate internally.  Both of which, come into play when it comes to addressing an executive’s biggest fears — consumer loss and reputational damage.  If they could find a way to resolve the issue before it goes public, they will probably do it.  Even if it includes making a deal with the devil.

PC Matic does not encourage anyone to pay ransom demands.  By paying the demands users run the risk of becoming a repeat victim.  Once you’ve paid once, they know you will likely pay again.  Users also risk losing whatever funds they paid, without getting their data in return.  These people are criminals, with no guarantees.  Instead, be proactive — keep your systems updated, use an application whitelisting solution, and train employees on current cyber security threats.

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