2,000 firms hit by ransomware, small firms more likely to pay

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Some 2,000 Dutch companies and 4,000 freelancers were hit by ransomware attacks in 2021 and around one in ten firms actually paid up to be able to re-access their information, national statistics agency CBS said on Friday.

Freelancers, however, were unlikely to pay hackers, the CBS said. 

Big firms with more than 250 staff are statistically far more likely to be targeted – some 4% of them had to deal with ransomware in 2021, compared with 0.5% of small firms. 

However, 14% of very small firms paid their blackmailers, compared with 4% of the large enterprises. In half the cases where a ransom was paid, the company was still unable to fully access their information.  

In more than 50% of cases, the ransom paid exceed half the company’s annual turnover. This is because small firms are more likely to pay and the amount demanded by the hackers is a proportionately higher percentage of their income, the CBS said. 

The figures come from the CBS’s annual cyber security monitor which is produced for the economic affairs ministry. 

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