Manufacturing Reports the Highest Average Ransomware Payment Across All Sectors: Sophos

Of the Organizations Surveyed That Paid the Ransom, the Average Cost Was $2,036,189—More Than

Double the Cross-Sector Average of $812,360

Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, today published a new
sectoral survey report, “The State of Ransomware in Manufacturing and Production,” which found that
the sector had the highest average ransom payment across all sectors—$2,036,189 versus $812,360,
respectively. In addition, 66% of manufacturing and production organizations surveyed reported an
increase in the complexity of cyber attacks, and 61% reported an increase in the volume of cyber attacks
when compared to the previous year’s survey. The increase in complexity and volume is also 7% and 4%
higher than the cross-sector average, respectively.
“Manufacturing is an attractive sector to target for cybercriminals due to the privileged position it
occupies in the supply chain. Outdated infrastructure and lack of visibility into the OT environment
provides attackers with an easy way in and a launching pad for attacks inside a breached network. The
convergence of IT and OT is increasing the attack surface and exacerbating an already complex threat
environment,” said John Shier, senior security advisor, Sophos. “While having reliable backups is an
important part of recovery, today’s ransomware threat requires a detailed response plan that includes
human-led threat hunting capabilities. Complex attacks require comprehensive protection, which, for
many organizations, will include the addition of managed detection and response (MDR) teams who are
trained to look for and neutralize active attackers.”
While manufacturing and production had the highest average ransom payment, the percentage of
organizations that actually paid the ransom was among the lowest across sectors (33% versus 46% for
the cross-sector average).
Additional findings include:
 The manufacturing and production sector had the lowest attack rate, tied with financial services,
with only 55% of organizations surveyed targeted by ransomware
 However, the percentage of manufacturing and production organizations hit by ransomware
increased by 52% over the previous year’s report (up from 36% in the 2021 survey report)
 The sector also had the lowest encryption rate (57% versus 65% for the cross-sector average)
 Only 75% of those surveyed reported having cyber insurance—the lowest percentage across all
In light of the survey findings, Sophos experts recommend the following best practices for all
organizations across all sectors:
· Install and maintain high-quality defenses across all points in the environment. Review security
controls regularly and make sure they continue to meet the organization’s needs

· Proactively hunt for threats to identify and stop adversaries before they can execute attacks – if
the team lacks the time or skills to do this in-house, outsource to a Managed Detection and
Response (MDR) team
· Harden the IT environment by searching for and closing key security gaps: unpatched devices,
unprotected machines and open RDP ports, for example. Extended Detection and Response
(XDR) solutions are ideal for this purpose
· Prepare for the worst, and have an updated plan in place of a worst-case incident scenario
· Make backups, and practice restoring them to ensure minimal disruption and recovery time

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