According to a new report by the European policing agency Europol, ransomware is the top threat facing computer users, with high-profile attacks such as ‘WannaCry’ that reached millions of devices. Following this news, Brian Robison, Senior Director of Security Technology at Cylance commented below.
Brian Robison, Senior Director of Security Technology at Cylance:
“Ransomware is exploding – because it works! People pay to get their data back. Cybercriminals know this and exploit it. Companies are not the only targets, although with deeper pockets, organisations pay millions of dollars to regain control of their systems. On the consumer side, we are seeing new types of ransoms being requested. A recent ransomware campaign hit the world where the ransom was not to be paid in the normal method of cryptocurrency like BitCoin; instead the victim had to send a number of nude photos of themselves to be verified by the attackers to get their files back.
“While businesses and organisations should have measures in place for data redundancy and backup – home users often don’t take these measures or simply have one single backup. Often in cases like this, the user will end up paying to get their precious family photos and memories back.
“Think about your data, think about where it is, think about what it is, back it up – not only in one place; but keep it fluid and moving. Look at long time storage of your most critical data whether it be your priceless family photos or your new patent pending secret formula to make billions; data is data and if it can be stolen or held for ransom it will!
“Ransomware is not going away – it works! When a method works and in a lot of cases works well, it will continue to be used and its use will grow. Ransomware is getting easier to obtain, weaponize and capitalize. It’s an epidemic and it needs a vaccine!”