Survey: 55% of U.S. private and public organizations fall victim to ransomware in 2019

Survey: 55% of U.S. private and public organizations fall victim to ransomware in 2019

Cybersecurity-based Proofpoint reported that in 2019, more than half of all public and private organizations in the United States were subjected to virus attacks and phishing attacks.

According to the report, Proofpoint researchers focused on the study of phishing, extortion, and crypto-jacking attacks. They analyzed how hackers used social engineering for cybercrime, as well as how to increase employee awareness of such attacks and the ways in which information security experts neutralize attacks.

Proofpoint analyzed over 9 million malicious emails, interviewed 600 industry leaders and 3,500 IT employees. In addition, the company sent over 50 million emails simulating phishing attacks to its customers to get a comprehensive overview of cybercrime in 2019.

Researchers found that more than 55% of organizations were victims of phishing attacks last year. 90% of global organizations experienced phishing emails, while 50% of organizations suffered from ransomware attacks and compromised accounts.

However, only 69% of the victims who paid the ransomware received the keys to decrypt the data. At least 7% of the organizations that paid the ransom faced additional requirements, and 22% still did not get access to the data. Many organizations suffered reputational and financial damage.

Government organizations, local governments, medical organizations and other enterprises with critical infrastructure or storage of confidential data most often became the target of hackers in 2019. This is due to the importance of the information that these organizations store and process.

Many survey participants believe that the number of ransomware and phishing attacks has not increased significantly compared to the previous year, although Malwarebytes reports a 500% increase in the number of such attacks. Many virus infections come from the infrastructure they have already affected and are aimed at new networks and databases.

Law enforcement and cybersecurity experts do not recommend paying a ransom to cybercriminals. They recommend training for cybersecurity and information security to reduce the effectiveness of attacks, which 95% of organizations are already doing.

It has recently become known that New York state senators have prepared a bill proposing to prohibit the payment of taxpayer money to hackers spreading ransomware viruses and demanding a ransom in cryptocurrencies.

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