Delinea’s 2022 State of Ransomware Report reveals that US attacks are down 61% from the previous year, and ransom payments are also on the decline, BUT…

Delinea has published its 2022 State of Ransomware Report, which finds that things may be looking up in the fight against ransomware.

Cyber-attacks using popular compromising tactic have declined significantly over the past 12 months compared to the previous year, and fewer companies are paying ransoms. Still, there are red flags in the annual report related to spending, planning and using cybersecurity tools available to combat ransomware.

A survey of 300 US-based IT decision makers, conducted on Delinea’s behalf by Censuswide, found that only 25% of organizations were victims of ransomware attacks over the past 12 months, a stunning 61% decline from the previous 12-month period when 64% of organizations reported being victims.

Furthermore, the number of victimized companies that paid the ransom declined from 82% to 68%, which could be a sign that warnings and recommendations to not pay ransoms are being heeded. Larger companies are much more likely to be victims of ransomware, with 56% of companies employing 100 or more staff said they were victims of ransomware attacks.

Dangers lurking

However, along with these positive results, the survey also raised concerns that a potentially reduced threat could lead to complacency. Budget allocations for ransomware are in decline, as only 68% of those surveyed said they are currently allocated budget to protect against ransomware versus 93% during the prior year.

The number of companies with Incident Response Plans also declined from 94% to 71%, and only half are taking proactive, proven steps to prevent ransomware attacks such as enforcing password best practices (51%) and using Multi-Factor Authentication (50%). 

“The reduction of ransomware attacks is an encouraging sign, but organizations need to make sure they keep their guard up against this constant, evolving threat,” said Art Gilliland, CEO of Delinea. “Staying vigilant by maintaining a strong least privilege approach backed by stronger password protection, authentication enforcement, and access controls can help continue this downward trend.”

“While the headline results of the 2022 State of Ransomware Report are positive, Asia Pacific organizations should heed its warning against complacency,” said Wahab Yusoff, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan. “The report not only provides insights into what lies behind the good and bad numbers but also offers foresights into possible pitfalls to avoid. Local organisations should consider the findings of the ransomware report as they review their cybersecurity strategies for 2023.”

Wahab Yusoff
Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan,

The survey also revealed that the consequences of ransomware attacks are now more tangible, as more respondents specified that their companies lost revenue (56%) and customers (50%) compared to the previous year. Fewer organisations (43%) reported reputational damage as a result of being victims of a ransomware attack.