Fortinet Survey Finds 78% of Organisations Felt Prepared for Ransomware Attacks, Yet Half Still Fell Victim

Organisations taking a best-of-breed, point product approach to security were more likely to be attacked by ransomware in the last year

John Maddison, EVP Products and CMO at Fortinet “According to the Fortinet research released today, though three out of four organisations detected ransomware attacks early, half still fell victim to them. These results demonstrate the urgency to move beyond simple detection to real-time response. However, this is only part of the solution as organisations cited the top challenges in preventing attacks were related to their people and processes. A holistic approach to cybersecurity that goes beyond investing in essential technologies and prioritises training is essential.”  

News Summary

Fortinet, the global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, today unveiled its 2023 Global Ransomware Report. The report is based on a recent global survey conducted by Fortinet and explores cybersecurity leaders’ perspectives on ransomware, particularly how it impacted their organisations in the last year, and their strategies to mitigate an attack. Key findings from the global survey include:

  • The global threat of ransomware remains at peak levels, with half of organisations across all sizes, regions and industries falling victim in the last year.
  • The top challenges to stopping a ransomware attack were people and process related, with many organisations lacking clarity on how to secure against the threat.
  • There are a range of technologies viewed as essential to prevent ransomware, with an overwhelming majority prioritising an integrated approach to security.
  • Despite the global macroeconomic environment, security budgets will increase in the next year with a focus on AI/ML technologies to speed detection, centralised monitoring tools to speed response, and better preparation of people and processes.

A Growing Disconnect Between Ransomware Preparedness and Prevention

Fortinet’s research revealed there was a large disconnect between respondents’ level of preparedness with existing strategies and their ability to stop a ransomware attack. Although 78% of organisations stated they were “very” or “extremely” prepared to mitigate an attack, the survey found 50% fell victim to ransomware in the last year, and almost half were targeted two or more times. Specifically, four out of the five top challenges to stopping ransomware were people or process related. The second largest challenge was a lack of clarity on how to secure against the threat as a result of a lack of user awareness and training, and no clear chain-of-command strategy to deal with attacks.

More Organisations are Paying the Ransom, Despite Industry Guidance

The survey also found that despite most (72%) detecting an incident within hours, and sometimes minutes, the percentage of organisations paying ransoms remains high, with almost three-quarters of respondents making some form of ransom payment. When comparing across industries, organisations in the manufacturing sector received higher ransoms and were more likely to pay the fee. Specifically, one quarter of attacks among manufacturing organisations received a ransom of $1M or higher. Finally, while almost all organisations (88%) reported having cyber insurance, almost 40% didn’t receive as much coverage as expected and, in some cases, didn’t receive any because of an exception from the insurer.

Security Budgets will Increase Despite Economic Uncertainty

With concerns about ransomware still high and despite a challenging global economic environment, nearly all organisations (91%) expect increased security budgets in the next year. Based on the technologies viewed as most essential to secure against ransomware, organisations were most concerned with IoT Security, SASE, Cloud Workload Protection, NGFW, EDR, ZTNA, and Security Email Gateway. When comparing to 2021, the number of respondents citing ZTNA and Secure Email Gateway increased by nearly 20%. Given email phishing remained the most common attack entry method for the second time, it was promising to see respondents view Secure Email Gateway (51%) with higher importance, however, other essential protections, such as Sandboxing (23%) and Network Segmentation (20%) remained low on the list. 

In the future, top priorities for respondents will be investing in advanced technology powered by AI and ML to enable faster threat detection and central monitoring tools to speed response. These investments will help organisations combat a rapidly evolving threat landscape as cyber attackers become more aggressive and deploy new elements into attacks. 

Enhancing Ransomware Protection Through a Platform Approach

In addition, the report found that organisations using point products were the most likely to fall victim to an attack in the last year, while those who had consolidated to a smaller number of platforms were the least likely to be a victim. Further, almost all respondents (99%) viewed integrated solutions or a platform as essential to preventing ransomware attacks. These findings underscore the importance of leveraging a unified platform approach to defend against ransomware.

Fortinet supports organisations looking to improve their processes and advance cybersecurity skills by providing services such as Incident Readiness Assessments and Tabletop Exercises, Ransomware Readiness Assessments, SOC-as-a-Service, and SOC Readiness Assessments, as well as comprehensive training from one of the largest programs in the industry, the Fortinet Training Institute. With its industry-leading Security Fabric of over 50 natively integrated, enterprise-grade products, Fortinet continues to be the leading vendor helping organisations consolidate their point products into a unified cybersecurity platform. This platform approach, with open APIs and a robust Fabric-Ready technology alliance ecosystem, enables CISOs and security teams to reduce complexity, increase efficacy in the prevention and detection of ransomware, and speed incident triage, investigation and response.

Learn More about the Fortinet Security Fabric in the Fortinet Booth at RSA 2023

Fortinet is a Platinum Sponsor at this year’s RSA Conference and will be showcasing live demonstrations of its Security Fabric and cybersecurity solutions at booth #5863. Stop by the booth for a range of interactive discussions on how to protect your business from ransomware and learn more about Fortinet and its presentations at RSA in this blog post.

Report Overview:

The survey was conducted among 569 cybersecurity leaders from 31 different locations around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, India, South Africa and Japan, among others.
Survey respondents came from a range of industries, such as manufacturing (29%), technology (19%), transportation (12%) and healthcare (11%).

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About Telecoms-Channel

Telecoms-Channel.co.za is your one-stop source for the latest news and insights from the telecoms industry in South Africa, where you get comprehensive coverage of the industry and keep up with the ever-evolving market landscape.

Whether you need to understand market trends, identify new opportunities, or stay informed of the latest developments, we have you covered.

In addition to bringing the best news together, we have access to an extensive supplier network that makes it easy for any telecoms company looking to tap into new markets or enter the telecoms industry. Take advantage of our expertise and contact us today to find your next partner!

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