Multicloud Complexity Sees SG Biz Pay Ransom

Image credit: iStockphoto/nicescene

Singapore businesses are falling foul to ransomware because of multicloud complexity and the inability to restore backup data. As a result, the 2020 Ransomware Resiliency Report by Veritas Technologies showed that more businesses in the island state are paying the ransom.

The mean number of clouds deployed by those businesses who paid a ransom in full was 17.11. This increased to 18.61 for those who paid only part of the ransom and went as low as 3.67 for businesses who didn’t pay at all. In fact, only 20% of businesses with fewer than five clouds paid a ransom in full, less than for those (30%) with more than 20 clouds.

Overall, a staggering 72% of businesses in Singapore who suffered a ransomware attack either paid the ransom in full or in part.

The main reason why ransoms are paid is because of the slow recovery after a ransomware attack. While 45% of those businesses with fewer than five cloud providers in their infrastructure saw their business operations disrupted by 5 to 10 days, only 40% of those with more than 20 were as fast to return to normal. Moreover, 12% of the over-20s took less than five days to recover, with just 44% of the under-fives having to wait so long.

Regardless of the number of cloud services deployed, 43% of respondents estimated 5 to 10 average days of business disruption due to a ransomware attack on average.

Greater multicloud also made it slightly less likely that the businesses would ever be able to restore their data in the event of a ransomware attack. While 49% of businesses with fewer than five cloud providers were able to restore 90% or more of their data, just 39% of enterprises building their infrastructure on more than 20 cloud services were able to say the same.

When hit by a ransomware attack, the average Singapore business would see 22% of its data impacted while 11% of them would see more than half of their data affected.

The Veritas research revealed that many businesses are aware of the challenge that they face, with 49% of respondents believing that their security had kept pace with the complexity in their infrastructure. The top concerns as a result of this complexity, as stated by businesses, was the increased risk of internal attacks (36%) followed by and external attacks (35%).

Over half of Singapore businesses (55%) shared that they had increased their budgets for security since the advent of the COVID pandemic. On the other hand, 28% have worryingly decreased it. There was a correlation between this elevated level of investment and the ability to restore data in the wake of an attack: 46% of those spending more since the COVID-19 outbreak were able to restore 90% or more of their data, compared with just 40% of those spending less. The results suggest that there is more to be done though, with the average business being able to restore only 83% of its data.

Back to basics

While the research indicates that businesses need to more comprehensively protect data in their complex cloud infrastructures, the survey also highlighted the need to get the basics of data protection right too. Only 50% of respondents could claim that they have offline backups in place, despite the fact that those who do are more likely to be able to restore more than 90% of their data. Those with multiple copies of data were also better able to restore the lion’s share of their data. Fifty-nine percent (10% more than the global average) of those with three or more copies of their files were able to restore 90% or more of their information, compared with just 35% of those with only two.

The three most common data protection tools to have been deployed amongst respondents who had avoided paying ransoms were: anti-virus and endpoint security (55%), keeping an offline backup of data (50%), and storing copies of backups in different locations (44%).

While the majority of businesses in Singapore have not experienced any ransomware attacks (69%), the safest countries to be in to avoid ransomware attacks were Poland and Hungary. Just 24% of businesses in Poland had been on the receiving end of a ransomware attack, and the average company in Hungary had only experienced 0.52 attacks ever. The highest incident of attack was in India, where 77% of businesses had succumbed to ransomware, and the average business had been hit by 5.27 attacks.

Image credit: iStockphoto/nicescene