A study by the Atlas VPN research team reveals that ransomware attacks can lead to significant impacts on organisations, including revenue loss and brand harm, and even the shutdown of the business altogether.
Most executives and employees are not aware of the fact that one attack could mean not only layoffs but a total demise of the organisation.
The insights stem from a survey carried out by Cybereason, which surveyed 1,263 cybersecurity professionals in April 2021. The participants were from the US (24%), UK (24%), Spain (12%), Germany(12%), France (12%), UAE (8%) and Singapore (8%).
Notably, as many as 42% of organisations in the UAE were forced to close down after a ransomware attack.
This is followed by the UK, where 34% of surveyed professionals stated that their company halted their activities as a result of damages from the ransomware intrusions.
In third place is the US, where 31% of companies attacked reported closure after the incident.
Businesses in France (22%), Germany (21%) and Singapore (21%) saw similar closure rates. In Spain, only 5% of organisations had to close down because of the attack.
Edward Garb, a cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, said,
“The findings are shocking and of huge concern. Most executives and employees are not aware of the fact that one attack could mean not only layoffs but a total demise of the organisation.”
Even though the majority of ransomware attacks do not result in business closure, a significant portion of companies are forced to eliminate some jobs. Interestingly, layoffs strongly depend on the industry.
For example, 50% of enterprises in the legal sector lay off employees after a ransomware attack. A close second is the retail industry, where 48% of ransomware victims had to let go of some workers.
Quite unexpectedly, respondents that work in the government sector never encountered a situation where a person or a group of employees was fired because of a ransomware attack.
Further insights from the survey can be viewed here.