The Dark Figure of Reporting and the Dark Figure of Recording: Measuring Ransomware Attacks on Businesses in Canada

Grant Agency: SSHRC – through the Human-Centric Cybersecurity Partnership

Awarded: 2023

Value: $25,000

Principal Investigator: Dr. Richard Frank

Co-principal Investigator: Noelle Warkentin; Cicilia Zhang

Description: The purpose of the current study was to survey a wide range of Canadian businesses about their experiences with ransomware attacks. One of the goals was to gain insight on this issue with smaller businesses to address a gap in the research. Businesses were questioned about contextual details regarding ransomware attack(s), which include: reactions to the attack (e.g., whether or not the business paid the ransom amount, whether police were contacted etc.), the extent of the damage caused by the ransomware attack(s), and whether or not the business used internal or external IT services. Results from this study may aid in informing law enforcement practices and how businesses handle ransomware attacks in the future.