65% of Singaporean organizations hit by ransomware in 2021

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Ransomware continues to affect organizations all over the world. In Southeast Asia, Singapore is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to tech adoption. However, with increased usage and dependence on technology, the risks that come with it increase as well.

According to a report by Sophos, 65% of Singaporean organizations surveyed in its State of Ransomware 2022 report were hit with ransomware in 2021. With a 25% increase since 2020, the average ransom paid by organizations in Singapore that had data encrypted in their most significant ransomware attack also increased by more than sixfold from US$187,500 in 2020 to US$1.16 million in 2021.

Despite having sufficient data recovery and backup capabilities, 48% of the organizations that had data encrypted still paid the ransom to get their data back. The report summarises the impact of ransomware on 5,600 mid-sized organizations in 31 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, with 965 sharing details of ransomware payments.

For Chester Wisniewski, a principal research scientist at Sophos, the survey showed that the proportion of victims paying up continues to increase, even when they may have other options available. He believes there could be several reasons for this, including incomplete backups or the desire to prevent stolen data from appearing on a public leak site.

“In the aftermath of a ransomware attack, there is often intense pressure to get back up and running as soon as possible. Restoring encrypted data using backups can be a difficult and time-consuming process, so it can be tempting to think that paying a ransom for a decryption key is a faster option. It’s also an option fraught with risk,” commented Wisniewski.

He also pointed out that organizations don’t know what the attackers might have done, such as adding backdoors, copying passwords, and more. If organizations don’t thoroughly clean up the recovered data, they’ll end up with all that potentially toxic material in their network and potentially exposed to a repeat attack.

The report also showed that 64% of attacks resulted in data being encrypted, a…