Forty-one percent of an organization’s data is comprised during a ransomware attack and only 57% of that data is recovered, according to a report from data protection and ransomware recovery firm, Veeam.

The company called ransomware the largest single cause of IT outages and downtime in its report, which is based on 1,200 survey responses from IT personnel whose organizations suffered at least one cyberattack in 2023.

The survey looked at both the operational and human element of attacks. It found that 45% of respondents reported heightened pressure on IT and security teams, 26% reported a loss of productivity, and 25% reported disruptions to internal or customer-related services.

In addition, 45% of respondents cited increased post-attack workloads and 40% reported heightened stress levels.

The report stated that 63% of organizations’ backup and cyber teams lack synchronization; and that 61% of security professionals and 75% of backup admins believe that teams need “significant improvement” or a complete overhaul.

For the third consecutive year, the majority — in this report, 81% — of organizations paid the ransom. However, one-third who did pay still could not recover and, for the third year in a row, more organizations paid but couldn’t recover data than those that “recovered without paying,” according to the report.

The cost of paying the ransom was less than a third (32%) of the total financial impact post-attack.

Moreover, cyber insurance does not cover the total costs associated with an attack. Indeed, only 62% of the overall impact is “in some way reclaimable through insurance or other means,” the research showed. The organization must cover remaining costs.

Three takeaways from the study:

  • Cloud and on-premises data are just as easily attackable.
  • Most organizations risk reintroducing infections by skipping vital steps while pressured to act quickly.
  • Organizations must ensure recoverable data.

“Ransomware is endemic, impacting three out of four organizations in 2023. AI is now enabling the creation of smarter, more advanced security, but it’s also facilitating growth in the volume of sophistication of attacks,” Dave Russell, Veeam’s senior vice president and head of strategy, said in a  press release about the ransomware report.

“Our report delivers a clear message: ransomware attacks will continue, be more severe than predicted, and the overall impact will cost organizations more than they expect.”

The Verizon Business 17th annual Data Breach Investigations Report found that 32% of all breaches involved some type of extortion technique, including ransomware in 2023.

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