Brits Behaving Badly: Alarming Rise in Ransomware Infections Plagues UK Businesses

Need a laugh? UK businesses hit with ransomware might not—64% got digital shakedowns in 2023. Workers chuckling at cybersecurity? 95% are clicking away merrily, risks be darned. It’s not just tea and crumpets at risk, folks—it’s your passwords. Proofpoint’s report: a not-so-funny wake-up call.

Hot Take:

Oh, Britannia, where art thy cyber vigilance? The ‘State of the Phish’ report has sounded the alarm, and it seems the UK’s businesses are swimming in ransomware-infested waters, with employees tossing out password best practices like yesterday’s fish and chips. It’s a case of “keep calm and carry on clicking,” despite 95% of workers knowing they’re playing digital Russian roulette with their company’s cyber health. Now, let’s unwrap this fishy situation and see what’s rotting at the core.

Key Points:

  • 64% of UK businesses were cozying up with ransomware in 2023, making it a very unwanted business trend.
  • A staggering 95% of employees have a “devil may care” attitude, jeopardizing cybersecurity for a bit of convenience.
  • Excuses for risky online behaviour range from saving time (40%) to urgency (22%), or just plain old carelessness (48%).
  • Proofpoint’s report hints that raising awareness is not enough; the real game is changing behaviour (which is harder than convincing a cat to swim).
  • Employees might care more if security measures were as easy as a stroll in Hyde Park, with 94% vouching for more intuitive controls.

Need to know more?


It seems the stiff upper lip attitude extends to cybersecurity practices, with UK workers displaying a certain... let's call it, "relaxed" approach to online threats. With a 30% uptick in financial smackdowns from the watchdogs and a 78% rise in reputation boo-boos, one wonders if the British Isles' new-found sovereignty comes with a side of cyber naivety.


Proofpoint's report is the equivalent of a disapproving nanny, clucking at the impish behaviour of employees who seem to treat cybersecurity like a game of hopscotch. The Chief Strategy Officer, Ryan Kalember, is the bearer of bad news, noting that the human element is the weak link in the chainmail, and knowledge without action is about as useful as an umbrella in a hurricane.


There's a gulf wider than the English Channel between IT pros and the average office Joe. While sysadmins build the digital fortresses, it's the employees who leave the gates wide open. A glimmer of hope? Well, 94% claim they'd be better digital citizens if security didn't feel like rocket science. That leaves 6% presumably twirling their villainous moustaches and laughing maniacally.

Our dear Kalember paints a dreary picture of humankind, susceptible to the dark arts of cybercriminals, whether through absentmindedness or the ol' "shady back-alley deal." And while making cybersecurity as simple as a traffic light might seem appealing, will it really stop Dave from accounting clicking on that "You've won a free yacht!" email? Doubtful.

So, the takeaway here is simple: don't trade your digital soul for a shortcut. Convenience might be king in the land of tea and scones, but it reigns supreme in the kingdom of cyber follies as well.


On the rest of the cyber front, LockBit ransomware is the bad penny that keeps turning up, Google's Gmail is staying put despite the whispers, and the best endpoint protection software is ready for your perusal. For those hungry for more tech insights, a newsletter subscription might just be the best thing since sliced bread.

And who's dishing out these digital tidbits? None other than Luke Hughes, the pen-wielding Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro, serving up everything from cloud services to the latest in cybersecurity gossip. Grab your umbrella; it's raining cyber news!

Tags: Employee Negligence, Malware vulnerability, password security, Proofpoint report, ransomware, security behavior, UK businesses