Giant Group has admitted its computer systems which pay thousands of umbrella company contractors each week have been hacked. The contractors were informed of the compromise on 22nd of September and all affected systems were taken offline. It is suspected it is a ransomware attack since both Giant Umbrella and Giant Accounts portals are offline.
<p>By targeting a company which pays umbrella company contractors, cyber criminals are more likely to secure their ransom, as the pressure to pay will not only come from the criminals, but also from those organisations and businesses that are out of pocket as a result. By targeting a supply chain, threat-actors can cause a chain reaction, wreaking havoc in a number of organisations and causing as much disruption as possible. What should be more concerning is the amount of data these threat-actors could have access to – it is no longer solely company data but also personal data from different contractors and their businesses that is at risk and that are subject to data protection regulations such as GDPR.</p>
<p>Companies, especially those that work with umbrella contractors, should be taking the most precaution and deploying the highest levels of security controls to protect themselves, their clients and those they employ. Unfortunately, Giant has learnt this the hard way and will hopefully consider implementing deception based active cyber defence measures going forward. An Active Defence solution will allow them to spot cybercriminals moving laterally on the network before they are able to gain access to valuable data and encrypt it. Detecting lateral movement early and responding in real time is the key to stopping large-scale attacks such as ransomware before they take hold within an organisation and will allow companies to work in partnership with contractors more securely, with all parties knowing their assets and data will be protected and that a network and data protection breach won’t disrupt business operations and result in significant financial and reputational damage.</p>