Ransomware attacks surged by 27% last year, with 8% of affected companies paying the ransom, Thales Group reported in its 2024 Thales Data Threat Report.

Some 43% of enterprises surveyed had failed a compliance audit, making them ten times more likely to suffer a data breach. Human error remained the top cause of data breaches for the second consecutive year.

The report surveyed nearly 3000 IT and security professionals in 18 countries across 37 industries.

Malware was found to be the fastest-growing threat, with 41% of enterprises experiencing attacks. Cloud assets are primary targets for attacks, including SaaS applications and cloud-based storage.

Only one-third of organisations surveyed fully classify their data, highlighting operational complexity. Compliance is crucial for data security, with compliant companies less likely to experience breaches.

The report emphasises that multi-cloud environments and global data privacy regulations necessitate data sovereignty measures.

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A parliamentary report warned in December that the UK is at high risk of a “catastrophic” ransomware attack that could cost tens of billions of pounds and shut down critical infrastructure.

In its 2023 Cybersecurity Thematic Intelligence report, research and analysis company GlobalData forecasted that global cybercrime will reach $10trn annually by 2025.  

Tackling rising cybercrime, like hacktivism and AI-assisted phishing, will require a large upfront investment from companies and by 2030 cybersecurity revenues could reach up to $344bn, according to the company.