IBM: Businesses More Likely To Pay After Ransomware Attack

In a new study, IBM has found that businesses are more likely than consumers to pay up after a ransomware attack.

IBM has released a new study looking at ransomware attacks against businesses and attacks against consumers. Before knowing the results you may think that businesses would be more prepared with IT experts, backups, and decryption tools after an infection, but 70% of businesses from the study paid the ransom. After hearing numbers like this it’s easy to understand why ransomware is becoming so popular for criminals, almost three out of four infections results in a pay-day for them. In 2016 alone, IBM is reporting that over 40% of the spam emails sent contained ransomware. The criminals go where the money is, and right now ransomware has it.


For this study IBM surveyed 600 businesses and 1,000 consumers to gain a grasp on how the public is reacting to ransomware infections. Some interesting findings from the consumers:

“While over half of consumers surveyed initially indicated they would not pay the ransom, when asked about specific data types, 54 percent indicated they would likely pay to get financial data back. Also, more than half (55%) of parents surveyed would be willing to pay for access to digital family photos vs. 39 percent of respondents without children.”

Consumers can also be motivated to pay depending on the type of data that has been lost. Individuals with children were more likely to pay for family photos that had been lost than individuals without. In stark contrast to the amount of money businesses are willing to pay, 37% of consumers surveyed said they would pay $100 to get their data back.


On the other hand, of the 600 businesses that were surveyed, 70% of executives said they had paid a ransom to resolve an attack. In half of those cases they were paying over $10,000 to regain their files, with 20% paying more than $40,000 to criminals. Businesses are often put in a tough situation with ransomware as downtime costs money. In today’s technology based world if the computers are down business doesn’t happen, which means money is being lost. From this data set, 25% of business executives said they would be willing to pay somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 to get their files back and business back online. This number is drastically higher than consumers, and makes evident why businesses are so highly targeted by ransomware authors.

Ransomware is becoming very prevalent in our society today and we believe the only approach to take is a proactive one. PC Matic with our global whitelist only allows known good files and puts a stop to the new ransomware that is created daily. If you’d like to learn more about PC Matic for your home, click here. PC Matic Pro is also available for business and government agencies and more information can be found here.

You can read the full press release from IBM here.

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