Ho, Ho, Ho! Ransomware Attacks Aplenty Expected During Holidays

Lack of preparedness intensifies the impact of holiday/weekend attacks.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

November 19, 2021

6 Slides

Nothing says the holidays like decorations, parties, presents, mistletoe and now, apparently, ransomware.

Cybereason has published a global study of more than 1,200 security professionals at organizations that have previously suffered a successful ransomware attack on a holiday or weekend. The study highlights the disconnect between organizational risk and preparedness.

Among the key takeaways:

  • Ninety percent are concerned about upcoming holiday/weekend ransomware attacks. However, nearly one in four said their organizations do not have a specific plan or policy in place.

  • Eighty-six percent report missing a holiday or important weekend activity with family and friends.

  • Seventy percent report being forced to respond to a ransomware attack while intoxicated to get the job done.

Lack of Preparedness Intensifies Impact

The lack of preparedness for ransomware attacks on weekends and holidays has a significant impact on victim organizations. Sixty percent of respondents said it took longer to assess the scope of an attack. One-half said they needed more time to mount an effective response. Furthermore, one-third (33%) said they needed more time to fully recover from the attack. This research validates the assumption that it takes longer to assess, mitigate, remediate and recover from a ransomware attack over a holiday or weekend.

The retail and transportation sectors present high-value targets for ransomware attackers, according to Cybereason. That’s because the potential for disruption and lost revenue increase incentives for victims to pay higher ransom demands.

Nearly 70% in both retail and transportation said a previous ransomware attack was successful because they didn’t have the right security solutions in place. In addition, one in four (24%) said their organizations still don’t have a specific contingency plan to address the risk from weekend and holiday attacks despite previously having been a victim.

To learn more, we spoke with Israel Barak, Cybereason‘s chief security information officer.

Channel Futures: What are the most surprising findings in this study?


Cybereason’s Israel Barak

Israel Barak: Despite having already been a victim of a ransomware attack, too many organizations still do not have the most basic technologies in place to prevent being a victim again — such as endpoint prevention like next-generation antivirus (NGAV) or endpoint detection and response (EDR) for proactive threat hunting and early detection of RansomOps.

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Cybereason and more cybersecurity news.

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.

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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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