Indian SMEs Top In Ransomware Attacks – 67% Attacked Once, 38% Attacked Twice!

Ransomware, the deadly and malicious software which demands a ransom to unlock data, is most dangerous for Indian startups and SMEs.


Indian SMEs Top In Ransomware Attacks

UK-based endpoint and network security behemoth, Sophos, has just released a very interesting report on the stare of cyber security of SMEs all over the world.

And there is some bad news for India.

Ransomware, the deadly and malicious software which demands a ransom to unlock data, is most dangerous for Indian startups and SMEs, compared to any other country in the world.

And the worst part of the research? Ignorance and denial from the Indian SMEs, for acknowledging that ransomware and other forms of cyber-attacks are a reality.

We will soon share the ramifications of this ignorance as well, which is actually scary.

Ransomware Attacks Is A Real Threat To Indian SMEs

The report, titled “The State of Endpoint Security Today” was conducted after seeking responses from CIOs of 2700 mid-sized organizations, all over the world.

Conducted by UK research house Vanson Bourne, this research strived to find out readiness and alertness about the new age cyber attacks happening at SMEs, and how prepared are the IT Managers of these mid-sized firms with 100 to 5000 users are.

Not much, it seems.

As per the report, ransomware has hit Indian SMEs more than any other country, as 67% of all respondents were at least hit once by ransomware, and 38% at least twice!

Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales at Sophos India & SAARC said,

“Unlike lightening, ransomware can strike again and again to the same organization. We’re aware of cybercriminals unleashing four different ransomware families in half-hour increments to ensure at least one evades security and completes the attack,”

The survey was conducted across 10 countries: US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa and India, and found that $13.74 million was spent by 3% of all organizations to handle such ransomware.

In India, a typical SME paid $1.7 million or Rs 11 crore to handle the mess.

The worst part is that awareness about advanced cyber attacks, and the ability to distinguish the attacks from normal safety hazards.

Sample this: 91% of Indian SMEs claimed that they were running the updated version of their anti-virus when ransomware hit them.

We have already shared how deadly ransomware like WannaCry crippled ATMs all over India, and how it paralysed 2 lakh computers all over the world.

Even some of the biggest Indian banks have found themselves as victims of ransomware.

Cyber attacks on SMEs: Some Facts

  • Healthcare has been the most vulnerable sector when it comes to ransomware and all other forms of cyber attacks. 76% of all infected SMEs and small firms belonged to health care.
  • When an attack occurs, then on an average 53.77% of all devices are infected with ransomware
  • 70% of all the SMEs don’t even have an advanced protection system which can counter the new age exploits like ransomware.
  • Over 70% of IT Managers failed to identify leading exploits, which can wreak havoc on their computers.
  • 89% of Indian respondents admitted that malware detection has become more complex.

The Solution?

As per Sophos, the problem here is that SMEs with limited IT budget has to fight against an enemy which has not even defined yet.

This makes the battle even more intense.

Machine Learning and Deep Learning based anti-malware and anti-ransomware tools are the future because the fight has to be real and live.

For instance, SMEs need a system wherein they can see if their computers are being illegally used for cryptojacking or not.

It seems that machine learning is the solution for fighting these unknown, new age threats.

Intercept X, which is an endpoint protection platform from Sophos, has been powered by machine learning and deep learning, and as per Sophos, the future lies in such protection systems.

Sunil said,

“Since traditional endpoint technologies are often unable to keep up with advanced exploit attacks used to compromise a system, Sophos has added predictive, deep learning capabilities to the newest version of its next-generation endpoint protection product, Sophos Intercept X.”

Thankfully, India is among the most optimistic countries, when it comes to treating machine learning as an able tool to fight such cyber attacks, as more than 65% of the Indian SMEs believed that machine learning will have the answers.

Solution to a problem can only be found when there is an awareness about it.

You can find the complete report here.

Do you think Indian SMEs are treating cyber attacks more seriously? Do share your views by commenting right here!

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