Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 12:18

Ransomware attacks on businesses on the increase in Australia, APAC Featured

Ransomware attacks on businesses on the increase in Australia, APAC Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Businesses in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia have paid an average ransom of $11,781 to ransomware attackers, with some businesses paying a ransom of more than $20,000, according to a newly published report on the growing prevalence of ransomware attacks in the APAC region.

A survey by global data protection solutions provider firm, Datto, of 100 managed service providers (MSPs) in the region, representing thousands of small businesses, found that 85% reported that their customers had experienced a ransomware attack in the past 12 months.

And, 24% of businesses revealed that they had experienced multiple attacks in a single day.

According to Datto, a number of experts anticipate the frequency of ransomware attacks will grow.

The security firm says Ransomware attacks can cause crippling downtime for businesses, and the survey found that 45% of respondents reported that a ransomware attack had led to business-threatening downtime.

CryptoLocker was found to be the leading strain of ransomware, with 48% of respondents falling victim to the trojan, which targets computers running Microsoft Windows.

The survey also revealed that lack of end-user training, phishing emails and malicious websites and advertisements proved to be the leading sources of ransomware infections.

And, most respondents reported that anti-virus and anti-malware software, employee training and having a data back-up and recovery solution in place were most effective in protecting a business from ransomware attacks.

“Ransomware is not about a couple of hacker kids sitting in the basement and messing around,” said James Bergl, regional director, ANZ for Datto.

“It’s a major enterprise orchestrated by large and well-funded companies, and it’s becoming a massive problem for businesses, regardless of industry or geographical location.

“Our survey found that a considerable number of businesses experienced business-threatening downtime as a result of being attacked, and that most attacks sailed right past the anti-viruses and other measures small businesses think will protect them from such cybercrime.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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