ANZ firms still ‘largely unprepared’ vs ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but they are still largely unprepared, according to findings of a global research from Arcserve.

Conducted by Dimensional Research, the study covered 1,121 respondents who had a budget or technical decision-making responsibility for data management, data protection, and storage solutions at a company with 100 – 2,500 employees and at least 5 TB of data. 

The survey was fielded in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), 53% of respondents were targeted with ransomware attacks, and findings indicate the critical need for companies to take a new approach to data resilience that fortifies disaster recovery strategies, backup systems, and immutable storage solutions to prevent the loss of mission-critical data.

The stakes are increasing as 67% of ANZ respondents report their organisations were asked to pay between US$10,000- and $100,000 in ransom payments. 

When asked about the confidence level in their IT team’s ability to recover lost data in a ransomware attack, a quarter (25%) of those surveyed in ANZ said they are very confident in their ability to recover lost data. 

Smaller businesses are even less confident. Less than 20% are very confident in their ability to recover lost data in a ransomware attack.

The research revealed that ITDMs recognise the importance of continued investments to increase data resilience, as 87% said they are making additional investments to protect against ransomware attacks. 

The top areas of investment are security software (60%); training and certification (51%); and managed services (45%).

A strong disaster recovery strategy and updated backup systems are critical as most ITDMs (61%) in ANZ said they will rely on existing backups to restore operations as quickly as possible if a ransomware attack occurs. 

Only 30% of those surveyed have data backup and recovery in place for all remote employees, presenting a significant vulnerability in the event of a ransomware attack as the remote workforce and the hybrid work environment become the norm. 

The survey also found that most ITDMs (95%) want governments to do more to help companies protect against ransomware, although they acknowledge limitations.  

“As our annual survey confirmed, ransomware attacks continue to significantly disrupt business worldwide with staggering costs and the real threat of losing mission-critical data,” said Florian Malecki, EVP of marketing at Arcserve. 

“IT decision-makers must review and modernise their IT security infrastructure by making data backup and recovery and immutable storage a cornerstone of their data resilience strategy to strengthen the entire environment,” said Malecki.