A report from SonicWall suggests that ransomware is the most fearsome attack form of all.

The security vendor surveyed customers for a study on the perception of cybercrime. “The state of cybersecurity is determined by more than just quantitative data”, SonicWall said. “The state of cybersecurity is also shaped by the sentiments of those who have made a career defending their companies, their customers or their country.”

66 percent of the company’s customers are increasingly concerned about cyberattacks. Nine in ten cited ransomware as the biggest concern, followed by phishing (76 percent) and encrypted malware (66 percent). Just under half worry about state-sponsored cyber attacks, while 89 percent primarily fear financially motivated threats.

Worry

The numbers are not representative of all businesses worldwide. The report is based on a survey of customers. SonicWall develops security software and appliances, including firewalls and switches. The company’s customers are concerned about cybersecurity by definition. In any other case, they would not be customers.

Nevertheless, the report is worrisome. The growth of cybercrime has been highlighted by several security vendors over the past year. SonicWall’s figures emphasize the problem. Attackers are gaining more pace than defenders can handle. 47 percent of customers reported a lack of IT staffing. Only 3 percent said they have more than enough personnel to handle day-to-day security tasks.

As a result, vulnerabilities are rarely patched immediately. Only 22 percent of customers patch critical vulnerabilities within 24 hours of their disclosure. 12 percent have no set schedule and only patch “when time allows”, the researchers said.

SonicWall and Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The report is a contribution to Cybersecurity Awareness Month. October is dedicated to cyber awareness worldwide. Although SonicWall makes a living by automating cybersecurity, the organization believes that humans play a vital role in preventing attacks, and will continue to do so in the near future.

“The evolving cyber threat landscape has made us train our staff significantly more”, said Stafford Fields, IT Director of Cavett Turner & Wyble, one of SonicWall’s customers. “It’s made us spend more on cybersecurity. And what scares me is that an end-user can click on something and bring all our systems down — despite being well protected.”

“Individuals, employees and consumers alike need to take basic steps to protect online information and privacy, while vendors and suppliers can take ownership by putting strong cybersecurity guidelines in place at work to help prevent”, SonicWall added.

Tip: Data protection is becoming more workload-specific (and software-defined)