‘Retail Organisations Increasingly Unable to Halt Ransomware Attack’

Emma Okonji

Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, has shared findings from its recent sector survey report, titled: ‘The State of Ransomware in Retail 2023’, which revealed that only 26 per cent of retail organisations were able to disrupt a ransomware attack before their data was encrypted.

This, according to the report, is a three-year low for the sector, indicating a decline from 34 per cent in 2021 and 28 per cent in 2022, suggesting the sector is increasingly unable to halt ransomware attacks already in progress. 

Analysing the report, the Director, Global Field CTO at Sophos, Chester Wisniewski, said: “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.” 

In addition, the report found that, for those retail organisations that paid the ransom, their median recovery costs that were not included the ransom payment, were four times the recovery costs of those that used backups to recover their data, dipicyong cost difference of $3,000,000 versus $750,000.  “Forty-three per cent 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,” Wisniewski further said. 

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