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Costs of cyberattacks rise as ransomware surges, report finds

Ransomware continuously poses a huge risk to businesses as cyberattack costs are still rising in 2022, with no signs of relief for companies in sight.

The sixth annual Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report explored the risks and challenges faced by companies in 2022.

The increase in cyberattack costs sits at 30% compared to last year, with the median value being just under $17,000. Predictably, the increase was not the same across different countries – as such, in the UK and Ireland costs more than doubled, with one British firm suffering $6.7 million in losses.

On average, worst-hit businesses were located in Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands, where costs exceeded $5 million. Companies generally felt safer in Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain, where losses were either stable or low.

But businesses suffer more than financial losses following cyberattacks – many are forced to let go of their employees, as well. As such, redundancy increased from 5% to 11%. Additionally, companies occasionally had to pay fines to government watchdog agencies, with the report impact being “ enough to threaten their solvency.”

Overall, threat actors most commonly targeted property firms (319), followed by the business services sector (304) while the retail and wholesale industry suffered the most in losses – sitting at $30,000.

This closely correlates with the overal trend of ransomware increase – up to 19% from the initial 16% last year. According to the findings, 66% of victims paid a ransom, with 53% paying up multiple times. In general, business located in the US in Ireland were the most likely to pay in comparison to the least likey payer – German companies.

The single largest payment also increased to just under $100,000, up from last year’s $95,000. Although the food and drink sector was the least likely to suffer a ransomware attack, it was also the most likely to pay.

Despite that, the report suggests that the median of total ransoms paid is down 20%, and the recovery process costs companies twice less now than in 2021.

Furthermore, businesses are taking a stronger cybersecurity stance and are prepared to tackle cyberattacks better than ever.

“After two years of the pandemic, and several large-scale vulnerabilities, businesses

appear to be going back to basics,” the report explains. “They are focusing on existing threats (ensuring devices are patched and up-to-date) as well as ensuring policies and procedures are up-to-date, especially testing incident response plans.”

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