A number of companies in the UK are stockpiling bitcoins in the event of a ransomware infection, according to a recent survey of 250 information technology specialists in the country.
Data security firm Citrix released the results of a survey it conducted with public relations firm Censuswide, which suggested that ransomware – malware that encrypts up a computer’s files until a ransom is paid (usually in bitcoin) to unlock the data – is a prevailing concern among some companies in the UK.
Thirty-three percent of those surveyed said their companies maintain a stash of bitcoin just in case.
Smaller companies, or those with less than 1,000 employees, appear more like to do so. Thirty-six percent of respondents with 250 and 500 employees, and 57% with between 501 and 1,000 employees, indicated that they had bought bitcoins for possible ransomware events.
Larger companies appear to be less willing to actually stockpile bitcoin for this purpose. Eighteen percent of businesses that employ more than 2,000 people said they had taken a similar approach to the issue, though 35% told Citrix and Censuswide that they’d be willing to pay a data ransom if required.
Despite the small sample size – only 250 specialists within the UK were surveyed – the results suggest that at least some companies are preparing for the worst.
Image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.