Executive Viewpoint 2018 Prediction: Zerto – Ransomware: The Worst is Yet to Come
By September of 2017, we had already seen three of the largest ransomware attacks and data breaches in history. WannaCry managed to infect over 230,000 computers in over 150 countries in just one day, gaining access through a lack of Windows patch updates. NotPetya was a new strain of an old malware – Petya – that gained access to the National Bank of Ukraine and shut it down. And, as we in the US are all quite familiar with, a data breach at Equifax exposed 143 million customers to potentially having their names, driver’s license numbers and social security numbers stolen by hackers. In 2017 we saw hit after hit of the “largest breach” or “largest ransomware attack in history” – but this was nothing compared to what’s to come.
In the coming years, new threats will continue to proliferate at an exponential rate, leading to even more, even worse attacks on companies and their data. We’re starting to see that the way these attacks are carried out is constantly changing and evolving, which will make them that much more successful. Companies simply aren’t able to keep up with how fast ransomware and other data-altering viruses are changing. And as much as professionals who play in the cybersecurity and data recovery space are warning these companies, most still aren’t implementing change at the rate necessary to keep up.
To IT professionals and business leaders, the question “are we ready for an attack?” can sometimes be scarier than the attack itself. Shoring up the security infrastructure, researching what software, hardware and services are out there, picking which ones are best for your company and implementing and maintaining them can be overwhelming. While this doesn’t actually have to be the case, the thought of it is often too much to handle and the action gets put on the backburner.
Over the next two to three years, we’re going to see that this nightmare of epic proportions – the rise in complex and diverse ransomware attacks and viruses – will cause companies to take action. They will reevaluate and reshape their IT resiliency plans, and likely implement entirely new and unconventional strategies to prepare for the inevitable attacks coming their way.
At this rate, being affected by an attack is not a matter of “if,” but “when.” So far, though attacks have been frequent and impactful, I can confidently say that the worst is yet to come, and no one is immune. Until organizations accept this reality and stay one step ahead through thoughtful IT resiliency strategies, they will continue to be vulnerable to the next attack.