61% of Companies Hit by Ransomware

Hilary Tuttle


June 1, 2021


Man at computer opening email.

After surveying 1,225 global IT and cybersecurity leaders, email security firm Mimecast found that ransomware impacted 61% of organizations in 2020—20% more than 2019. Companies that suffered a ransomware attack lost an average of six working days—doubling the average year-over-year—and 37% reported downtime of more than a week. Given the costs of both downtime and recovery, 52% of enterprises ultimately decided to pay a ransom, after which 65% recovered their data and 35% did not.

Amid pandemic-related increases in cybercrime, email-based threats rose dramatically in 2020, fueling the surge in ransomware cases and losses as many incidents begin with phishing emails. Since the onset of the pandemic, Mimecast found employees are clicking on three times as many malicious emails as before. While 43% of respondents believed “employee naiveté about cybersecurity” is one of their greatest vulnerabilities, only one in five had ongoing security awareness training in place and conduct it more than once a month.


Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.