October 28, 2020


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40% of users hold company directors responsible for blackmail attacks

company directors responsible for blackmail attacks
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Public apologies, fines and even prison sentences are cited as possible penalties for CEOs who inadequately protect their company from possible attacks by blackmail software (ransomware).

Most respondents want companies to oppose blackmailers and not pay the blackmail required, but those percentages drop dramatically as soon as their personal information is concerned. At first glance, companies are faced with an impossible choice – users tell them that they pay blackmail to recover data, and on the other hand that they do not pay them at all and that cybercriminals and blackmailers do not need to negotiate…

Two-fifths of users (40%) hold company directors directly and personally responsible for ransomware attacks on companies, according to a global survey conducted by Veritas Technologies, a world leader in data protection and availability. In addition, research shows that the public often wants compensation from companies that have fallen victim to blackmail software – 65 percent of respondents want compensation, and 9 percent of respondents even want to send the CEO to prison.

The survey, conducted among users in China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, also showed some interesting local differences:
• In China, users are most likely to change their minds about negotiating with blackmailers when it comes to their own critical information. Although 80 percent of respondents believe that companies should not negotiate with blackmailers in principle, as soon as it comes to their own data, that percentage drops sharply to only 16 percent.
• The British care most about resisting cybercriminals and blackmailers, with as many as 81 per cent believing that companies should not negotiate with them at all.
• The French seem to forgive the most of all respondents, with less than a quarter (24%) blaming company leaders, and just over half (55%) believing that cybercriminals and blackmailers should be blamed for the attacks. Only one third of French people (36%) would stop using the company’s services or products after being attacked by blackmail software.
• At the other end of the spectrum are the Japanese and Chinese, who are the least willing to forgive companies, and as many as 49 and 51 percent, respectively, would stop using the company’s services after such an attack.
• Germans mostly call for severe penalties for company executives for inadequate protection, so as many as 29 percent would prescribe a prison sentence.
• On the opposite side are users in the United States where 41 percent of respondents would prescribe fines for directors.

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