Over half of surveyed KSA organisations have paid a ransom in response to a ransomware attack, according to new research from YouGov, commissioned by Palo Alto Networks.
According to new research from YouGov, commissioned by Palo Alto Networks, 67% of organisations surveyed in KSA have experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months. In addition, 24% have experienced a cyberattack in just the last month.
“Over the last two years, there has been a surge in ransomware attacks across industries worldwide. The attacks interfered with a number of everyday activities people take for granted: seeing a doctor, getting gas, buying groceries, paying bills, booking travel, and even calling for emergency assistance. As the number of attacks has grown, so has the average ransom demand, which averaged $2.2 million in 2021 globally, representing a 144% increase from the year before.” said Ercan Aydin, Regional Vice President at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA).
According to the research, remote and hybrid work models is the number one reason for cyberattacks for KSA organisations (66%), followed by a lack of employee awareness on security (41%).
“The need to secure the new ‘anywhere’ workforce has become a priority – from virtual hot desks to meetings in the metaverse. As ransomware actors become more sophisticated, and the number of attacks continues to rise, a Zero Trust approach to cybersecurity is critical in order to stay ahead of threats.” Aydin adds.
While 73% of the respondents have an incident management plan in place, only 41% are confident that their plan is effective. The research also highlights sizable ransomware payments with 79% of surveyed KSA organisations having paid more than USD $100,000 (SAR 375,935)
In an effort to defend against these sophisticated and evasive attacks, 62% of KSA organisations surveyed have invested more than USD $100,000 (SAR 375,935) into ransomware in the past 12 months.
YouGov, in collaboration with Palo Alto Networks, has surveyed 113 respondents working in the IT industry in the Middle East, including UAE and Saudi Arabia.