Shame and confusion lead to employees paying ransoms out of pocket

Ransomware Demand ScreenshotDoug Olenick at SC Media reported on something quite surprising. This is the first time we've heard about this!

Whether out of shame for being victimized or confusion over what to do more than half of employees who fell victim to a ransomware attack decided to pay the ransom amount themselves, a recent survey found.

The study of 1,000 workers victimized by a ransomware attack, conducted by Intermedia, found that 59 percent paid the ransom out of pocket with 37 percent passing the cost along to their company. Intermedia is a leading cloud voice service provider, and the world's largest independent provider of Exchange email in the cloud.

Millennials were more likely to pay themselves with 73 percent reporting that they had done so, but not far behind are company executives with 68 percent saying they had also reached into their own pockets to meet they cybercriminals' demand.

The report cited two reasons behind the decision to absorb the cost. Shame and embarrassment certainly play a role in the person's choice to simply pay up and hopefully mitigate the damage, but lack of knowledge also plays a role as many companies do not tell their workers what to do when confronted by this situation.

“Organizations need to focus education efforts not just on what ransomware is, but what steps employees should take if they are impacted. Regular communication is especially important right now with new malware strains like BadRabbit posing as seemingly harmless Adobe Flash updates,” said Intermedia CTO Jonathan Levine.

If this is really true, IT might not even know that a workstation was infected, got decrypted and is back in production with remnants of malware all over it. Could very well be that trojans and other remote control tools were left behind.

I suggest you create corporate policy that requires mandatory immediate reporting of ransomware infections so that IT can do their job!

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Topics: Ransomware

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