One-third of business decision-makers around the world would prefer to cut costs by considering paying a ransom demanded by a hacker rather than investing in information security.

This is according to the 2018 Risk:Value Report, commissioned by NTT Security. In the UK, this figure drops to around a fifth (21 per cent) of survey respondents.

The research also found that 30 per cent of UK businesses are not sure if they would pay or not, which suggests that just around half are prepared to invest in security to proactively protect the business.

According to NTT Security, its findings are “particularly concerning”, given the global increase in ransomware. According to the company’s Global Threat Intelligence Report, ransomware attacks rose by 350 per cent in 2017, making up 29 per cent of all attacks in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Confidence levels about the risk of being vulnerable to a cyber attack are also unrealistic, the researchers said. Some 41 per cent of UK respondents claim that their organisation has not been affected by a data breach, compared to 47 per cent globally.

Of those in the UK, ten per cent expect to suffer a breach, but nearly a third (31 per cent) do not expect to suffer an attack at all. NTT Security said that the more worrying finding was that 22 per cent of UK respondents are not sure if they have suffered a breach or not.

Kai Grunwitz, senior vice president of EMEA at NTT Security, commented: “We’re seeing almost unprecedented levels of confidence among our respondents to this year’s report, with almost half claiming they have never experienced a data breach.

“Some might call it naivety and perhaps suggests that many decision-makers within organisations are simply not close enough to the action and are looking at one of the most serious issues within business today with an idealistic rather than realistic view.”

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