The continued rise of ransomware and its impact beyond the enterprise

To those of us in the security space, ransomware isn’t a new topic. Unfortunately, we’re, intimately familiar with ransomware and how it can devastate even the largest organizations that have the most sophisticated security measures. It’s no longer only CEOs and IT leaders that are worried about being tomorrow’s ransomware headline du jour though; everyday consumers are starting to worry about the impact it will have on their personal data.

In fact, we recently conducted a survey which found consumer awareness for ransomware has grown 13% over the past year. As more household brands they trust are in the headlines, 62% are worried about being a victim of a ransomware attack. While there are steps to take at the individual level, it’s up to businesses to ensure they have backup and recovery options that give customers and employees peace of mind that their data is secure. 

The employee/employer role in ransomware protection

While the employee and consumer role in ransomware protection is minimal, our research shows that employees do want to know their data is secure – and are willing to play a role in protecting it. However, 34% of consumers say they don’t even know how their companies are protecting them. Additionally, only 35% say their company has increased security measures due to the recent rise in ransomware attacks.

What can employees do to help keep data secure? For starters, more security training would help employees know what’s safe and what’s not, and how they can help keep their own and their company’s data secure. With 23% of consumers using corporate-issued devices for personal use every day, it’s clear this training is necessary. And there is an appetite for it – more than half (52%) of consumers would like their company to offer cybersecurity training. Unfortunately, only 23% of consumers say their employers actually have offered security training or guidance in the past six months.

Where the enterprise and consumers collide

At the end of the day, every single employee is also a consumer. If they are using corporate devices for personal use, or unsure how to better protect their corporate data, the entire enterprise is at risk. As ransomware attacks rise, it’s critical for IT to secure all corporate endpoints. Personal use of these devices can cause major headaches and pose devastating security risks. 

There is a lot that enterprise IT and security leaders can do to help educate their employees, who are clearly craving more training and guidance. Unfortunately, the data shows that not enough companies are increasing security or aren’t effectively communicating security measures to their employee base. With no end in sight to the ongoing ransomware wars, all companies need to take the threat seriously, investing in backup and recovery solutions for when the inevitable happens – while also educating their employees on how they can protect themselves and the company against looming threats.


Veeam partnered with Dynata to conduct a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 21+. Responses were collected in late September and early October 2021.

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