“It’s a tragedy.” At least that is what we are told. Time and time again, when bad things happen, we hear the same things replayed over and over again, or “what could we’ve done to prevent this,” or “we didn’t know.” In life, this can be an honest reaction to certain things.
In 2016, SonicWall detected a 600% growth in ransomware families. We saw a wide range of ransomware forms and attack vectors in the 2017 Annual Threat Report; some successful, others not so much. So, what is at the core of any successful attack? If you understand the seven components of a ransomware campaign strategy, you can better defend yourself from one of the most pernicious forms of malware in history.
If you pictured a specific technology exemplified as an animal what would it be? Cars have been visualized as horses and bulls and the names like Mustang, Pinto, and Taurus all ring a bell with us. We see this in cyber security as well. We have worms, bugs, and Trojan [horses] (I know that’s a stretch).
The 2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report, published last week, covers the evolution of the cybersecurity landscape through 2016. Based on the data from the SonicWall Global Response Intelligence Defense (GRID) network, the report highlights the advances of the criminal and the defense sides of the global cyber security landscape.
For example, law enforcement apprehended the writers of the popular Angler exploit kit and POS malware dropped significantly, as the industry adopted better security practices and technology.
Ransomware has forced organizations to rethink their security architecture. Organizations are increasingly investing in security solutions that provide additional protection of sensitive data, as well as better visibility over network traffic and endpoint activity. According to IDC research, 60% of organizations surveyed indicated that modern endpoint and network security products such as network sandboxes were either a high priority or an extremely high priority over the next 12 months.
Last week I was at one of our sales offices in Utah. I heard an interesting story about how a dentist office called in to ask for threat prevention against ransomware. The dentist office had been affected by ransomware twice in a short period of time. Twice, they paid the ransom to ensure business continuity and customer retention.
The data is still coming in, but it’s looking like consumer spending this holiday season will once again outperform previous years. Multiple research firms including the National Retail Federation (NRF) are predicting a growth in sales over the same period in 2015. Credit card vendor Mastercard is forecasting a 19% increase in online sales over the holidays.
What would happen if you gathered five days of newly discovered malware and unleashed it upon an end-point protected by SonicWall?
I have been working with SonicWall firewalls for 10 years, and I was beta testing SonicWall Capture as part of my role here as an escalation engineer. Since we are big believers in drinking our own champagne, I was testing on my home network.
My guess is that if you are reading my blog, you are doing some of your new year shopping online. What I am concerned about is what the shopping season means to cybercriminals and how you can protect your network. This season, give yourself the gift of the Human Firewall and learn how to protect yourself.
In most organizations, the same issue is being felt – how can network security be increased without lowering performance within a budget? How much risk is acceptable? If your organization is not facing this issue, you should be looking at the growth of encrypted web traffic (https) and cloud computing and how your current firewall maintains performance and/or efficacy in this new environment.