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35 percent of Singapore SMEs hit by ransomware in 2016

Anuradha Shukla | Aug. 7, 2017
Only one out of 10 SMEs in the republic are confident that they would be able to stop ransomware attacks.

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Credit: GraphicStock

More than a third (35 percent) of Singapore-based SMEs experienced a ransomware attack in the last year, according to the Second Annual State of Ransomware Report by Malwarebytes.

Twenty-one percent of those who had been hit by ransomware had to cease all business operations immediately, while 11 percent lost revenue as a direct result of the attack.

More than half of the cybercriminals (53 percent) who struck Singapore SMEs with ransomware asked for payments of less than US$1,000. Only 7 percent asked for amounts of more than US$10,000.

Sixty-one percent of the victims experienced downtime of more than 9 hours from a single incident of ransomware. A third (33 percent) of them that refused to pay the ransom also lost access to files.

"Businesses of all sizes are increasingly at risk for ransomware attacks," said Jeff Hurmuses, managing director and area vice president, APAC, Malwarebytes. "To be effective, the security community must thoroughly understand the battles that these companies are facing, so we can better protect them."


Ransomware is a top security problem for SMEs

SMEs in Singapore view ransomware as a major problem. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the respondents indicated ransomware and malware infiltration as critical problems. This is followed by email phishing (70 percent) and malware infiltration via web browsing (64 percent).

The other three concerns are insider theft of data (55 percent), phishing through social media (39 percent) and the physical theft of laptops and mobile devices (23 percent).

Only one out of 10 SMEs in Singapore are confident that they would be able to stop ransomware attacks.

"It's clear from these findings that there is widespread awareness of the threat of ransomware among businesses, but many are not yet confident in their ability to deal with it. Companies of all sizes need to remain vigilant and continue to place a higher priority on protecting themselves against ransomware," said Hurmuses.


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