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Nearly 73% of Indian mid, large companies hit by ransomware in 2023

The threat from ransomware in India has reached alarming levels, with an astonishing 73 per cent of Indian organisations having fallen victim to it in the past year, as against the global average of 66 per cent, according to a recent independent survey by Sophos.

This is also a significant rise from the 2022 survey figures of 57 per cent.

The survey assumes significance in the light of the recent HDFC Bank loan data leak as a result of ransomware attack and the implications on the personal finance data with banks and financial service providers.

The survey, interviewed IT and cybersecurity leaders from mid-sized organisations across 14 countries, including 300 respondents from India.

Sophos Survey Findings
According to the survey, such attacks are not isolated incidents.

The survey also listed the root cause and consequences of ransomware attacks.

Exploited vulnerabilities were the primary reason for attack in 35 per cent of incidents, followed by compromised credentials at 33 per cent. In terms of outcomes, 77 per cent of attacks resulted in data encryption, down 3 per cent from the 80 per cent reported in the previous year’s survey. Data theft occurred in 38 per cent of encrypted data attacks in India, which was significantly higher than the global average of 30 per cent, according to the survey.

On a positive note, 98 per cent of Indian organisations successfully recovered their encrypted data. Almost 73 per cent of them relied on backups, showcasing the importance of regular data backups as a recovery strategy.

Earlier in March 2023, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm of HDFC Bank confirmed that hackers had leaked 7.5 GB of customer data onto the Dark Web.

According to the survey, hackers probably employed “phishing bank SMS” tactics to deceive customers into clicking on fraudulent links, purportedly for updating their know-your-customer (KYC) or PAN cards. Unwitting individuals who clicked on the link inadvertently exposed their phones to hacking.

Role Of Cyber Insurance
A staggering 93 per cent of Indian organisations possess some form of cyber insurance, with 41 per cent holding standalone cyber policies and 52 per cent incorporating cyber coverage into wider business policies. This is almost similar to global figures, the survey said.

The report also emphasised the role of cyber insurance in data recovery. According to the survey, cyber insurance improved the likelihood of data recovery.

The survey said that regardless of the policy type, 98 per cent of organisations with cyber insurance managed to retrieve encrypted data, compared to 84 per cent without coverage. Insurers’ expertise and guidance during the recovery process, along with the insurance requirement for backup and recovery plans, contribute to these positive outcomes, the survey said.

Earlier in March 2023, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm of HDFC Bank confirmed that hackers had leaked 7.5 GB of customer data onto the Dark Web.

According to the survey, hackers probably employed “phishing bank SMS” tactics to deceive customers into clicking on fraudulent links, purportedly for updating their know-your-customer (KYC) or PAN cards. Unwitting individuals who clicked on the link inadvertently exposed their phones to hacking.

Role Of Cyber Insurance
A staggering 93 per cent of Indian organisations possess some form of cyber insurance, with 41 per cent holding standalone cyber policies and 52 per cent incorporating cyber coverage into wider business policies. This is almost similar to global figures, the survey said.

The report also emphasised the role of cyber insurance in data recovery. According to the survey, cyber insurance improved the likelihood of data recovery.

The survey said that regardless of the policy type, 98 per cent of organisations with cyber insurance managed to retrieve encrypted data, compared to 84 per cent without coverage. Insurers’ expertise and guidance during the recovery process, along with the insurance requirement for backup and recovery plans, contribute to these positive outcomes, the survey said. Outlookindia

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