Deloitte Poll: Most US Executives Lack Ransomware Response Plan

Ransomware is a top concern for many U.S. executives. However, most executives are ill-prepared for ransomware attacks, according to a June 2021 poll conducted by Deloitte, which operates a Top 250 MSSP business unit.

Key findings from Deloitte’s poll included:

  • 67 percent of executives indicated their organizations have not simulated ransomware attacks.
  • 65 percent stated ransomware is a cyber threat posing “major concern” to their organizations.
  • 54 percent lack an incident response plan specific to ransomware.

Many executives across industries have witnessed and experienced ransomware attacks over the past 12 to 18 months, said Curt Aubley, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory detect and respond practice leader and managing director of Deloitte & Touch. Meanwhile, cybercriminals are exploring new ways to attack organizations, and executives must plan accordingly.

How to Prepare for Ransomware Attacks

Deloitte recommended executives consider the following questions as they prepare for ransomware attacks:

  • Does your organization’s cyber incident response plan address ransomware attacks? Develop and test a cyber incident response plan that accounts for the nuances of ransomware attacks.
  • Has your organization considered adopting a Zero Trust approach to cyberattacks? Leverage a Zero Trust approach to remove automatic or inherited trust given to users, workloads, networks and devices and shore-up security gaps.
  • Does your organization understand how ransomware attackers can exploit your use of emerging technologies to launch attacks? Learn how new technologies can increase cyber risk exposure and how to use them without compromising security.
  • How does your organization test for ransomware vulnerabilities? Conduct penetration testing to identify attack surface vulnerabilities and paths to critical systems and assets and business continuity and disaster recovery testing to confirm that redundant backups are ready to support business resiliency if needed.
  • Does your organization conduct threat hunting to manage ransomware risk? Utilize threat hunting technologies to identify new attack patterns and attackers before they can cause damage.

Ransomware attacks often have national and global repercussions, Aubley noted. By testing and fine-tuning incident response programs for ransomware and other types of cyberattacks, executives are well-equipped to protect their organizations against these attacks now and in the future.

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