Only 26% of retail organisations this past year were able to disrupt a ransomware attack before their data was encrypted, according to new research from Sophos.
The cybersecurity as a service firm released their The State of Ransomware in Retail 2023 which revealed the three-year low for the retail sector — a decline from 34% in 2021 and 28% in 2022 — suggesting the sector is increasingly unable to halt ransomware attacks already in progress.
“Retailers are losing ground in the battle against ransomware. Ransomware criminals have been encrypting increasingly greater percentages of their retail victims in the last three years, as evidenced by the steadily declining rate of retailers stopping cybercriminal attacks in progress. Retailers must up their defensive game by setting up security that detects and responds to intrusions earlier in the attack chain,” said Chester Wisniewski, director, global field CTO, Sophos.
In addition, the report found that, for those retail organisations that paid the ransom, their median recovery costs (not including the ransom payment) were four times the recovery costs of those that used backups to recover their data ($3,000,000 versus $750,000).
“Forty-three precent of retail victims paid the ransom according to our survey respondents, yet the median recovery cost to victims who paid the ransom was four times the cost to those who used backups and other recovery methods. There are no shortcuts in these situations and rebuilding systems is almost always required. It’s better to deprive the criminals of their spoils and build back better,” said Wisniewski.
Despite suffering financially from ransomware, the number of retail organisations attacked by ransomware dropped this year, from 77% to 69%.
However, in line with a broader, cross-sector trend, the retail sector experienced its highest rate of encryption over the past three years, with 71% of those organisations targeted by ransomware stating that attackers successfully encrypted their data.
Further, retail organisations are taking longer to recover from attacks, with the percentage of organisations recovering in less than a day decreasing from 15% to 9%, and the percentage of organisation taking more than a month to recover increased from 17% to 21%.