Daily Post 1362


The rules of the game are changing in this corona infected world. So to say the world has been infected. Though not directly connected, rules of ransomware game is changing to be more paying as it turns out to be more damaging with every passing major attack. Ransomware is a rapidly growing cyber threat, attacks overall are up by 25% in Q1. Ransomware works and so it proliferates. The average ransomware payment is up by 33% from Q4 of 2019 to $111,605. The real cost is much higher; lost revenue, employee productivity, impact on public services and average business downtime of 15 days. In the recent ransomware attacks on Florence and Albama, the ransomware attackers demanded $300,000, which officials were likely to pay, to keep citizens information off internet.

Now the stuff get crazier, ransomware hackers got into New York City law firm, demanded $42 million or they threatened to release information about the American President. Even the President is at their mercy. The next destination of the ransomware wildfire operators was Honda last week. It impacted their production facilities. There is a world of a difference between stealing a bunch of data and shutting down the organisation or it’s production system. Holding manufacturing and industrial systems hostage seem to the charted roadmap. Bounty unimaginable. Immediate attention of boardroom and CEO guaranteed. The hackers are the happiest were it hurts most.

A recent survey by Claroty of 1000 IT security professionals revealed the obvious. An attack on critical infrastructure is potentially much more damaging than an enterprise data breach was the opinion of the 76% surveyed. Disrupting industrial processes hits hard and fast. It forces the organisation to stop functioning. The networking of operational technology is providing greater opportunity to the cyber hackers. 51% of the US firms feel that their industrial networks need more protection. Given this fact US companies and organisations will continue to be the preferred targets.

With 5G and need be to more efficient and productive, connectivity is getting deeper in the expanding group of industrial systems. The real time criticality make them valuable target for hackers. Imagine if the industrial processes involve hazardous or volatile environments or materials. ”Hackers are productive with their time, and they attack where there’s opportunity and money.” This explains the new choice of targets. The risk and value proposition is now being shown in the mirror. Such organisations don’t have a separate cyber security function for operational technology and industrial networks. ”The hackers have learned this lesson, business and public leaders will have to.”


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