Worry over ransomware picking up, study suggests

It may be a dead heat, but among all the IT professionals in the data centre, arguably no one is under more pressure these days than the chief security officer because of the increasing number of reported data breaches.

So perhaps its no surprise that when vendors survey IT staff they find apprehension on security is going up.

The latest is a study released Tuesday of people who responded to questions on the Spiceworks Web site for IT workers by a provider of security awareness training.

KnowBe4, a Florida-based company that offers phishing and email exposure tests to organizations, asked a group of IT staff in June the same questions on ransomware that security vendor Webroot asked there six months ago. In January 48 per cent of IT pros said they are concerned or very concerned about software that takes control of user devices and demands payment to free them. Last month 73 per cent of the group surveyed by KnowBe4 were concerned or very concerned.

The conclusion, the company said in a news release, is that worries over ransomware is “skyrocketing.” However, it is important to note that those who responded to the KnowBe4 survey were not necessarily the same people who answered the Webroot questions.

Ransomware and how to protect against it was one of the topics discussed at last month’s SC Congress security conference in Toronto.

Among other findings of the KnowBe4 study, 88 per cent of respondents said they expect ransomware to increase the rest of the year, 47 per cent feel email attachments pose the largest threat.

Compared to those who responded to the same question in January, confidence in endpoint security dropped to 59 per cent from 96 per cent.

Most IT managers rely on backup get out of a tight spot. KnowBe4 says, but 57 per cent in its questionnaire agreed that if their backup fails, their company would be forced to pay the ransom.



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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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