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Cyberattacks: Companies do not protect themselves well against ransomware – and prefer to pay

What is the state of cybersecurity in Germany? Conclusion: There is room for improvement – and companies would rather pay than prevent effectively.

IT security is a growing concern for German users, who have less confidence in existing precautions. Sixty percent said they were concerned about the tightening security environment in a survey IDC conducted this September of 206 security professionals and users from companies across all industries and of all sizes. Only 65 percent felt well protected, 13 percent less than in the previous year.

This is certainly also a consequence of the Ukraine war, which has shaken the confidence of 47 percent of respondents in their own IT security. This is not the case for 27 percent, and another 26 percent are still undecided. 43 percent of users report more attacks this year. 51 percent believe that the number of attacks is also likely to increase in the future.

Take ransomware, for example: only 26 percent did not experience extortion attacks. 38 percent said they were severely affected. 32 percent said they had been successfully attacked. Of the latter, 88 percent also lost their backups, showing that precautions in this area are far from adequate.

Willingness to pay is high: of the companies successfully attacked, 80 percent actually transferred money; of these, 49 percent did so because it was faster. This can be seen as breeding a criminal line of business. The field is therefore calling for regulation, according to the unanimous opinion of the IDC roundtable. In some countries, including the U.S., payment for ransomware is already banned, he said.

As a countermeasure against cyberattacks, insurance is popular instead of dense security systems. While they require certain security measures, they cannot verify their operation with the same level of care as a certified consultant or IT sec specialist. Forty-two percent already have such insurance, and another 37 percent plan to take out one in the next 12 months.

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