Top Tech Stats: Rising ransomware, praise over pay and much more

Top tech stats

Welcome to your roundup of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week we bring you the latest stats on ransomware, workers’ sentiment about praise over pay, the correlation between multiculturalism and funding, investment in SMEs by financial corporates and M&A trends within the cloud technology sphere. 


Ransomware increase three-fold throughout Q1 2017.

That’s according to Kaspersky Labs’ ‘Malware Report’, which found ransomware is showing no sign of abating.

The report also found the following throughout the first quarter of this year:

  • Some 55,679 new Windows ransomware modifications were detected during the quarter representing a near two-fold increase on Q4, 2016.
  • 79,209,775 unique URLs were recognised as malicious by web antivirus components.
  • Attempted infections by malware that aims to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 288,000 user computers.
  • Crypto-ransomware attacks were blocked on 240,799 computers of unique users.

“The mobile threat landscape for ransomware was far from calm in Q1. Ransomware targeting mobile devices soared, with new ransomware families and modifications continuing to proliferate. People need to bear in mind that attackers can – and increasingly will – try to block access to their data not only on a PC but also on their mobile device,” noted Roman Unuchek, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

Multiculturalism and funding

New analysis conducted by Pivigo has shown that businesses with multiple nationalities represented at leadership level typically raise more funding than those whose directors are just from the UK.

Additionally, Pivigo found that firms with similar sized boards (three to four directors) often received four times more funding when two or more non-UK nationalities were represented (£13.8m), as opposed to £3.5m when all directors were from the UK.

Pivigo found that FinTech – aside from being the most well-funded sector in London – is also one of the most diverse in terms of nationalities. Fashion and travel were among the most diverse sectors in UK tech.

Kim Nilsson, co-founder and CEO of Pivigo, said: “Investment is a crucial part of scaling businesses, which London needs to do to retain its position of a global leader in innovation.

“Brexit has the potential to impact not just access to talent, but the movement of entrepreneurial individuals that see London as a hotbed for investment, creativity and collaboration.

“As our government navigates its negotiations, we hope to see a deal that enables London to continue to be a diverse city – and businesses to build diverse teams that represent multiple nationalities, cultures and genders –  not just at the senior level, but throughout the organisation too,” she added.

Pay vs praise

A study by employee engagement platform Reward Gateway found that the majority (52%) of the UK’s workforce feels their boss could do more to appreciate them.

Additionally, the study revealed that 59% of Brits would much prefer to work for a company with a culture where they receive recognition over a higher salary job and little or no praise.

Almost 50% of those polled said they would leave a company if they failed to receive recognition from their superiors. In stark contrast, some 40% of senior decision makers asked said they didn’t think regular recognition and thanking their employees would impact staff retention.

Glenn Elliott, founder and CEO of Reward Gateway, said: “This is another really strong data point that tells us what we’re doing with recognition is wrong. If companies want to improve employee engagement, motivation and retention they need to urgently divert investments from tenure based, long service award programmes which aren’t working but are costing businesses a fortune. We’ve worked hard to make our SmartAwards product support what today’s employees want for recognition and deliver a much improved ROI for clients.”

Investment in SME’s by financial corporates

Large financial services firms invested £6.2bn in UK SMEs last year, according to law firm Bond Dickinson’s Close Encounters: The Power of Collaborative Innovation report. These deals, which include mergers and acquisitions (M&A), minority stakes and joint ventures, accounted for 41% of total deals across all sectors.

Financial services accounted for 41% of deals between large organisations and UK SMEs over the last year, making it the most collaborative sector. The majority of deals in the financial services sector were minority stakes (75%), rather than M&As or joint ventures.

Across all sectors, the report states, there have been 5,447 deals between corporates and UK SMEs since 2013, which are known to have exceeded £102bn.

M&A: Appetite for cloud accelerates

Security and the optimism in artificial intelligence are the main drivers for Saas and cloud deal flow, according to the Saas and Cloud M&A Overview 1H 2017 by Hampleton Partners.

“Non-traditional buyers such as Cisco and GE, as well as private equity investors, continue to be aggressive in this space,” said Miro Parizek, managing director at Hampleton Partners.

“Although North American investors account for the vast majority of deals, European investors have the advantage when it comes to dealmaking in their home markets. Approximately 52% of European transactions involved a European buyer, compared with 44% of deals for North American buyers.”

Salesforce invested more than $4bn across eight acquisitions last year and emerged as a potential bidder for big shots like LinkedIn and Twitter, according to the report.