Despite rising fear, most respondents aren't patching in a timely manner.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

October 7, 2022

3 Min Read
Worried Businessman at Computer

A new SonicWall survey shows financially motivated attacks such as ransomware are a massive concern for the vast majority of its customers. 

The 2022 SonicWall Threat Mindset Survey found two-thirds (66%) of customers are more concerned about cyberattacks in 2022. In addition, the SonicWall survey shows ransomware leads the distress, as 91% of all customers cited it as their biggest concern. Phishing and spear-phishing (76%), as well as encrypted malware (66%), comprised the top three concerns.

Companies are not only losing millions of dollars to unending malware and ransomware strikes, but cyberattacks on essential infrastructure are impacting real-world services. Despite the growing concern of cyberattacks, organizations are struggling to keep pace with the fast-moving threat landscape as they orient their business, networks, data and employees against unwavering cyberattacks.

Rising Fears

Other survey findings include:

  • Eighty-nine percent of organizations have the most concern about financially motivated threats. In addition, 43% of those surveyed were concerned about state-sponsored threats.

  • Despite rising cyberattack concerns, 78% of organizations don’t patch critical vulnerabilities within 24 hours of patch availability. Moreover, another 12% only apply critical patches when time allows.

  • Forty-six percent of organizations don’t have enough IT headcount. Only 3% feel they have more than enough headcount to tackle day-to-day security operations.

Immanuel Chavoya is SonicWall‘s threat detection and response strategist.


SonicWall’s Immanuel Chavoya

“There was a concerning connection in the fact that 89% of organizations cited concern of financially motivated threats, yet 78% of organizations don’t patch critical vulnerabilities within 24 hours of patch availability,” he said. “Even with rising concerns of attacks, patching is a major challenge for IT managers everywhere. This leads to an additional finding within the survey that only 3% of organizations feel they have more than enough headcount to tackle day-to-day security operations, potentially explaining why it takes some time for these organizations to patch regularly.”

Fear Not Necessarily Prompting Action

Customers’ rising fear doesn’t necessarily mean they’re taking more action to protect themselves, Chavoya said.

“The results from the survey suggest that there is rising anxiety — especially around financially motivated cyberattacks, and that IT teams are understaffed and overwhelmed to proactively protect themselves,” he said.

There are a variety of reasons why organizations might be slow to patch, Chavoya said. Some of those include lack of resources, too many patches to keep up with, and that patching is a time-consuming process.

In terms of progress in the fight against cybercrime, Chavoya said the rising concern over cyberattacks alone is a good place to start.

“The fact that an accelerated number of organizations are concerned with defending themselves against financially motivated attacks speaks to the point that organizations are beginning to be more proactive in their effort to fight against cybercrime,” he said. 

In an effort to promote cybersecurity attentiveness, SonicWall supports Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October with an added emphasis on the people component of cybersecurity. Individuals, employees and consumers alike need to take basic steps to protect online information and privacy, while vendors and suppliers can take ownership by putting strong cybersecurity guidelines in place at work to help prevent.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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