GCC security professionals wise up to ransomware; report

Palo Alto Networks found organisations have adopted a preparation, prevention or detection and monitoring approach to ransomware attacks

Tags: Cyber crime
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GCC security professionals wise up to ransomware; report The report found 6% of organisations admitted to have suffered a ransomware attack in the past and 38% of respondents said that they were able to intercept and prevent the infection.
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  November 7, 2016

Palo Alto Networks discovered savvy GCC security professionals view the threat of ransomware as severe and that this awareness has enabled organisations to minimise the impact of an attack.

It found that 32% of respondents view the threat of ransomware as severe in the region, indicating that threat perception and awareness in the region are high, plus a further 34% of respondents believe the threat to be moderately high.

Additionally, 26% of organisations admitted to have suffered a ransomware attack in the past and 38% of respondents said that they were able to intercept and prevent the infection. This outcome demonstrates a level of awareness that has enabled many organisations to minimise the impact of this growing threat.

However, 48% said they were able to restore the lost files from a backup, minimising the impact after the fact. Despite this method, the outcomes signifies that a portion of GCC organizations are on the back foot when dealing with ransomware infections. Plus only 9% of organisations did not pay the ransom and therefore suffered data loss.

The majority of respondents, irrespective of sectors, adopted a preparation, prevention or detection and monitoring approach to ransomware attacks, giving them a more proactive stance in dealing with this threat. When it comes to having an effective strategy in place, irrespective of cost, 41% thought that a preventative approach was the best approach. 

Saeed Agha, General Manager, Middle East at Palo Alto Networks, said: "We have found that awareness and understanding of ransomware amongst security professionals in the Middle East is high, and it is well-understood as a significant threat.  However, dealing with the repercussions of an attack after you've already been hit just means that you're cleaning up the mess after the fact.  By taking a proactive, prevention-oriented approach, businesses are succeeding in minimizing the impact and can further enhance their risk posture in relation to ransomware. A holistic strategy that protects businesses at all stages of the attack lifecycles is recommended to reduce risk.'

The poll gathered insights from security professionals across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with the verticals focusing on government, financial services, education, healthcare, automotive, construction and utilities.

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