Poor Cyber hygiene in India is a cause of worry, reveals Sophos Ransomware survey


The Internet is plagued with virus, malware, ransomware, and other related security threats. According to a recent study conducted by Sophos, cyber hygiene is generally poor in India because of Ransomware threats. The report reveals the fact that India has topped the list of countries that are facing problems with ransomware attacks in 2019. Moreover, the Indian companies are the soft target among attackers although ransomware attacks are prevalent across enterprise companies across the world.

Addressing media in March 2020, Sophos India’s Sunil Sharma emphasized the need for the companies to understand their requirements. This will help them to secure their systems effectively and have efficient cyber hygiene. The main problem is with the lack of knowledge when it comes to securing their systems. Moreover, there is a need to implement robust cybersecurity infrastructure including the allocation of sufficient budget to ensure good cyber hygiene.

Rampant piracy

The Sophos survey reports add that cyber hygiene is generally poor in India with an abundance of pirated technology. The country is pretty weak when it comes to cyber defense including tackling vulnerability. The survey has been conducted among 5000 IT managers spanning 26 countries.

The report states that nearly three-quarters of ransomware attacks result in the data being encrypted. This was the case in some of the recent ransomware attacks on major IT companies such as Cognizant. The attackers used Maze ransomware that infects and encrypts every computer in its path. Moreover, it also fetches the victim’s data to the attacker’s servers.

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Does Ransomware payment give back the data?

The report reveals that 50 percent of organizations were hit by ransomware in 2019. The hackers tried to successfully encrypt the data by 73 percent among these attacks. Moreover, nearly 26 percent of ransomware victims paid ransom and got their data back, while 1 percent of victims failed to get the data even after the payment of the ransom. You should note that 56 percent of companies managed to get back the data via backups, while 26 percent of the organizations had to pay the ransom. The payment of ransom doubles the cost of dealing with the attack.

As per estimates, ransomware attacks cost an average of $732,520 for companies that don’t really pay the ransom. However, the overall cost shoots up to $1,448,458 for those organizations that do pay the required amount of ransom. The Sophos study disclosed that the public sector is least affected by ransomware. The report adds that Ransomware attackers target private companies that belong to the media, leisure, and entertainment segments. You should note that 45 percent of public sector companies were slapped with ransomware attacks in 2019.

Insurance coverage

It is to be noted that not all insurance companies cover ransomware attacks in your quest to achieve Cyber hygiene. The report discloses that one in five organizations does have a major loophole in the cybersecurity insurance. Nearly 84 percent of respondents have cybersecurity insurance, while only 64 percent are actually covered for ransomware. The insurance companies had paid for the ransomware attacks for the retrieval of the data in 94 percent of the ransomware attacks.

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There is a huge debate among the community regarding the public and private divisions. The data stored in the public cloud are vulnerable to ransomware attacks by 59 percent. The public cloud storage comprises of Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Mega among others.

Public vs private cloud debate

More than half of successful ransomware attacks (59 percent) affect data stored in the public cloud, raising the issue of private cloud vs public cloud security. The definition of public cloud storage applies to cloud-based services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and much more.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

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