Sophos [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8], a global leader in cybersecurity [3] [4], has released a report on the state of ransomware in the retail sector in 2023 [4] [5] [6] [7]. This report highlights the challenges faced by retailers in dealing with ransomware attacks and the need for improved security measures.


According to the report [1] [2] [8], the percentage of global retailers experiencing a serious ransomware breach in the past year has decreased from 77% to 69% [1]. While this decline is positive, it still underscores the struggle retailers face in stopping these attacks.

The report reveals that only 26% of retail organizations were able to stop a ransomware attack before their data was encrypted [2] [3] [4] [6] [7], marking a decline from previous years [4] [6] [7]. This should serve as a wake-up call for the retail sector to improve their security measures [2]. It is crucial for retailers to strengthen their defensive measures and detect intrusions earlier in the attack chain [7].

Furthermore, the report highlights the financial impact of ransomware attacks. The median recovery costs for retail organizations that paid the ransom were four times higher than those that used backups to recover their data [3] [4] [6] [7]. This emphasizes the importance of implementing robust backup systems and avoiding paying the ransom.

Despite the risks and costs associated with ransomware attacks, 43% of retail victims still chose to pay the ransom. However, the director of global field CTO at Sophos advises against paying the ransom and encourages rebuilding systems instead. This highlights the need for education and awareness among retail organizations to make informed decisions when faced with ransomware attacks.

To defend against ransomware [3] [4] [5] [6], the report recommends several best practices for retail organizations. These include strengthening defensive shields with security tools [4] [5], implementing Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) [4] [5] [8], and maintaining security hygiene through regular patching and reviewing security tool configurations [5] [8]. Employee education on cyberattacks and implementing endpoint protection services are also highlighted as important measures.


The decline in prevention and recovery rates highlighted in the report underscores the challenges retailers face in dealing with ransomware attacks. It is crucial for retail organizations to take proactive measures to protect themselves against these threats. By implementing the recommended best practices and improving security measures, retailers can mitigate the risks and minimize the financial impact of ransomware attacks.

For more information, the full report can be downloaded from [3] [5] [6].