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Businesses Grapple with Ransomware Attack Risks and Readiness

Despite a prevailing sense of invulnerability among both small and large businesses, there is a growing concern about the potential impact and evolution of ransomware attacks and ransomware protection. This dichotomy between perceived risk and the reality of ransomware attack threats is highlighted in a recent survey conducted by OpenText.

Ransomware Attack Concerns Among SMBs and Enterprises

The survey revealed a striking contrast in attitudes: while the majority of small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises (with over 1,000 employees) did not see themselves as likely targets for ransomware attacks, a significant 90% of SMBs and 87% of enterprises expressed substantial concern about such attacks.

AI-Enhanced Ransomware Threats and Response Measures

More than half of both SMBs and enterprises (54%) acknowledged feeling more vulnerable to ransomware attacks due to threat actors leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their capabilities. In response, over half of the businesses surveyed are planning to increase their cybersecurity budgets in the coming year.

Increasing Budgets and Staff for Ransomware Protection

Regarding increased budgets for ransomware protection, 40% of SMBs intend to boost their spending by 5-10%, and 33% aim for a 10-20% hike. Enterprises share similar budget increase goals. Additionally, a notable portion of SMBs (44%) and enterprises (43%) are looking to expand their cybersecurity workforce, with many aiming for a 5-10% increase in staff numbers.

Outsourcing Cybersecurity: A Trend Among SMBs and Enterprises

Currently, more than half of SMBs (52%) outsource their cybersecurity needs to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) or channel providers. Meanwhile, 42% of enterprises do the same, a number that is expected to grow.

Expert Insight on the Ransomware Protection Mindset

Prentiss Donohue, Executive VP at OpenText Cybersecurity, commented on the findings, emphasizing the risky mindset of underestimating cyber threats. He highlighted the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks and stressed that no business is immune. Donohue advocates for a layered security approach, including education, as the best defense against ransomware.

A Wake-Up Call in Ransomware Attack Preparedness

In light of the escalating number and sophistication of ransomware attacks, partly fueled by AI, the survey indicates that businesses are justified in their concerns. This situation serves as a wake-up call for firms to align their perceptions with the reality of cybersecurity threats.

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