One third of Canadian businesses pay for data recovery after ransomware attack

A third of the country’s companies believe their payments, recorded for the first time in the survey, were made with malicious intent.

A new survey of 200 Canadian companies has found that a third of the businesses reporting paid a ransom in order to regain access to data, surpassing the percentage paid in the United States and the United Kingdom.

For both countries, that figure is below 30%. The survey, conducted by, a leading provider of credit and insurance information for Canadians, included responses from more than 100 companies.

The study found that almost one third of respondents, 31%, paid attackers to restore access to the data they had previously lost. That proportion is 22% and 25% in the United States and the United Kingdom.

“The increase in ransomware infection makes sense given the recent increase in attacks from recent years,” says Eugene Chu, the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) CEO. “Ransomware authors have strong motivation to target companies given the potential economic impact.”

Overall, the total number of ransomware attacks in Canada has more than doubled since 2015. Total cybersecurity costs, however, have remained at about the same level.

The survey found that companies are now more vigilant about security risks. More than half (55%) reviewed and enhanced their vulnerability assessments for the second quarter of 2018. This number has increased from 47% and 39% in Q1 of the year. Another 27% of respondents updated their firewalls during the second quarter. These figures have remained largely consistent since Q1.

Insurers help mitigate losses

The report outlines, however, that there is little privacy protection for companies that pay the ransom.

A number of Canadian insurance companies are taking steps to minimize losses.

Belfast-based XL Catlin was named by as the top Canadian insurer for recovering losses caused by ransomware. The company has been in the top ten for the past four years and is in the top 10 in every country surveyed. was a strategic sponsor of the survey.

The U.S. is also in the top 10 of premium amount paid to attackers.

Insurify’s top ten insurers for ransomware payment are:

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