The State of Ransomware 2021

April 29, 2021

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 Sophos’ annual ransomware survey delivers fresh new insights into the experiences of mid-sized organizations across the globe. It explores the prevalence of attacks, as well as the impact of those attacks on victims, including year-on-year trends. This year, for the first time, the survey also reveals the actual ransom payments made by victims, as well as the proportion of data victims were able to recover after they had paid.

About the survey

Sophos commissioned independent research house Vanson Bourne to survey 5,400 IT decision makers across 30 countries. The survey was conducted in January and February 2021.

As in previous years, 50% of the respondents in each country came from organizations with 100 to 1,000 employees, and 50% from organizations with 1,001 to 5,000 employees. Respondents also came from a wide range of sectors.

Key findings

  • 37% of respondents’ organizations were hit by ransomware in the last year
  • 54% that were hit by ransomware in the last year said the cybercriminals succeeded in encrypting their data in the most significant attack
  • 96% of those whose data was encrypted got their data back in the most significant ransomware attack
  • The average ransom paid by mid-sized organizations was US$170,404
  • However, on average, only 65% of the encrypted data was restored after the ransom was paid
  • The average bill for rectifying a ransomware attack, considering downtime, people time, device cost, network cost, lost opportunity, ransom paid etc. was US$1.85 million
  • Extortion-style attacks where data was not encrypted but the victim was still held to ransom have more than doubled since last year, up from 3% to 7%
  • Having trained IT staff who are able to stop attacks is the most common reason some organizations are confident they will not be hit by ransomware in the future

Download the survey report to find out more.

Price: FREE

About the Provider

Sophos Group plc is a British security software and hardware company. Sophos develops products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management.


Cyberattacks, ransomware, survey