MOVEit cyberattack anxieties: Turning ransomware into action

CL0P, a ransomware group linked to Russia, claimed responsibility for the MOVEit hack earlier in 2023
In the wake of such a high profile cyberattack, a Veeam study highlights its impact as more business leaders invest in cyber protection solutions

A survey conducted by technology company Veeam has found that business leaders are increasing their investment into ransomware protection solutions. 

The company surveyed directors of UK companies who had suffered a ransomware attack in the past 18 months, finding that 24% reported that they were significantly more anxious, and 66% slightly more anxious, about ransomware attacks as a direct result of the MOVEit breach.

The MOVEit breach impacted at least 40 million people worldwide, targeting a broad range of industries and government agencies, including the UKs telecom regulator Ofcom, Shell Oil, and the University of California, Los Angeles, to name a few.

Translating enterprise anxiety into action

CL0P, a ransomware group linked to Russia, claimed responsibility for the MOVEit hack earlier in 2023, admitting that it had been exploiting a security flaw in MOVEit Transfer - a tool used by businesses to transfer files.

Veeam has found that the anxieties felt by business leaders has since been translated into action. As a direct result of MOVEit, 42% of businesses have invested in backup and recovery, with 29% optimising their existing strategy to ensure they have accurate and easily recoverable data to fall back on in the event of a compromise. 

Likewise, 41% of businesses increased their spend on wider cybersecurity solutions and 31% took out a cyber insurance policy. 

The survey also revealed the value UK business leaders in particular are set on equipping their workforce with the skills and training to manage the ransomware threat: 42% of respondents have increased spending on skills development, in addition to 40% upping their investment in training.

A shift in perception can be observed across the UK business landscape, according to Veeam, with the local survey revealing that business leaders now expect to fall victim to a ransomware attack, viewing it as an inevitability. 59% of respondents expressed this belief as highly likely, with the same number believing that they are ‘highly likely’ to suffer more than one attack. 

Strategising to mitigate risk, rather than eliminate it

Given that these attacks are inevitable, businesses are taking steps to prevent catastrophic impact. Though this increased awareness of the likelihood and frequency of ransomware attacks is a step in the right direction for businesses, Veeam does highlight that while most respondents believe attacks are unavoidable, 50% also believe that it is impossible to protect against them. 

The company highlights this belief as exposing organisations to unnecessary and avoidable risk, as it fails to account for the data protection strategies and solutions which can prevent a ransomware attack from having disastrous consequences. 

Whilst data compromise will happen, the ability to rapidly recover and control the disruption to business operations has to be a foundation of cyber protection strategies. Organisations must build up their cyber resilience if they are to succeed.

Dan Middleton, Vice President UK&I at Veeam, says: “MOVEit cyber-attacks have changed the discourse around ransomware and thrust the issue front and centre into the public domain. While it has sadly become an inevitability for businesses, protection is possible. 

“Businesses need to achieve ‘radical resilience’ against ransomware by developing a data protection and ransomware recovery strategy that goes beyond the basics. The Veeam Ransomware Trends Report 2023 reveals that 93% of cybercriminals target backups, so it is critical that organisations recognise that not all backup and ransomware recovery solutions are created equal, and the secret to protection lies in immutability.”

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