MOVEit cyberattacks prompt UK business leaders to turn ransomware anxiety into action

MOVEit cyberattacks prompt UK business leaders to turn ransomware anxiety into action

In the wake of the MOVEit vulnerability, which impacted an estimated 40 million people worldwide, UK business leaders are increasing their investment in ransomware protection solutions, a new local survey from Censuswide, commissioned by Veeam Software, has revealed.

Censuswide surveyed 100 directors of UK companies with over 500 employees who had suffered a ransomware attack in the past 18 months. Three months on, almost one in four business leaders (24%) reported that they were significantly more anxious about ransomware attacks as a direct result of the MOVEit breach, while two in three (66%) said they were slightly more anxious. Just 6% denied being anxious about the threat of ransomware following the MOVEit breach.

This anxiety has translated into action. As a direct result of MOVEit, 42% of businesses have invested in backup and recovery and 29% optimised their existing strategy to ensure they have accurate and easily recoverable data to fall back on in the event of a compromise. Forty-one percent of businesses increased their spend on wider cybersecurity solutions and 31% took out a cyber-insurance policy.

The survey also revealed the value UK business leaders place on equipping their workforce with the skills and training to manage the ransomware threat: 42% of respondents increased spend on skills development and 40% upped their investment in training.

A shift in perception can be observed across the UK business landscape, with the local survey revealing that business leaders now expect to fall victim to a ransomware attack, viewing it as an inevitability. Fifty-nine percent of respondents expressed this belief as highly likely, with the same number believing that they are ‘highly likely’ to suffer more than one attack.

Yet, though this increased awareness of the likelihood and frequency of ransomware attacks is a step in the right direction for businesses, it is alarming that while most respondents believe attacks are unavoidable, 50% also believe that it is impossible to protect against them. This belief exposes organisations to unnecessary and avoidable risk, as it fails to account for the data protection strategies and solutions which can prevent a ransomware attack from having disastrous consequences.

It’s a fact of modern business that every organisation will have its data compromised at some point, and so the ability to rapidly recover and control the chaos in the face of business disruption has to be a foundation of their cyber-protection strategies.

Dan Middleton, Vice President UK&I at Veeam, said: “MOVEit cyberattacks have changed the discourse around ransomware and thrust the issue front and centre into the public domain. While it has sadly become an inevitability for businesses, protection is possible. Businesses need to achieve ‘radical resilience’ against ransomware by developing a data protection and ransomware recovery strategy that goes beyond the basics. The Veeam Ransomware Trends Report 2023 reveals that 93% of cybercriminals target backups, so it is critical that organisations recognise that not all backup and ransomware recovery solutions are created equal, and the secret to protection lies in immutability.”

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