CYBERSECURITY WELLBEING IS UNDER ATTACK

 

In the wake of the high-profile cyberattacks on Colonial Pipeline, Solar Winds and Acer this year, and that of Travelex in October 2020, could things get any worse for our cybersecurity wellbeing? Unfortunately,  just when we thought that things could only get better for cybersecurity wellbeing, statistics show that we were mistaken. Cybercrime continues to soar and one reason why is that everybody seems to think that it is someone else’s problem. Unfortunately, we all have a role to play in our cybersecurity wellbeing, in securing our digital identities and protecting both personal and company data. Cybersecurity wellbeing, in essence, is not the responsibility of an individual, an organization or an IT cybercrime movement but a global initiative.

BREAKING A RECORD

 

This year we are on track to break the record for the number of publicly reported data breaches. According to the Identity Theft Resource Centre (ITRC), the number of data breaches publicly reported this year exceeds that of 2020. That’s a record in itself. Eva Velasquez, CEO of ITRC, said:

 

“It’s also interesting to note that the 1,111 data breaches that the amount and quality of data being exfiltrated by hackers. from cyber-attacks so far, this year exceeds the total number of data compromises from all causes in 2020.”

 

According to Chuck Brooks, the President of Brooks Consulting International, and as reported in Forbes, the take-away isn’t the increase in the number of attacks but the fact that cybercrime is becoming much more targeted.

 

HOW BAD IS IT?

 

FinCEN, the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and a branch of the U.S. Treasury, has issued a report in which the following was revealed:

 

  • 635 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) were filed in the United States in the first half of 2021 relating to suspected ransomware activity
  • Of the 635 SARs filed, 458 of them referenced transactions amounting to $590 million
  • The reported amount for 2020 was $416 million, showing a significant uptick in ransomware activity and demands in 2021
  • Based on data from the SARs, FinCEN concluded that 68 different variants of ransomware have been active in 2021 so far
  • The most common ransomware variants were REvil, Conti, DarkSide and Phobos

 

WHAT ABOUT THE UK?

 

While cybersecurity wellbeing is not looking good Stateside, the situation on home soil is not any better. Jeremy Fleming, the Director of the UK spy agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), believes that Russia and China are harbouring criminal gangs that are successfully targeting western governments or firms. Moreover, he confirmed that ransomware attacks on UK institutions have doubled in 2021. Fleming said in a statement:

 

“I think that the reason [ransomware] is proliferating – we’ve seen twice as many attacks this year as last year in the UK – is because it works. It just pays. Criminals are making very good money from it and are often feeling that that’s largely uncontested.”

 

Unlike the U.S. Treasury which disclosed that suspicious ransomware-related transactions in the US over the first six months of this year were worth around $590m, GCHQ declined to reveal the number of ransomware attacks on UK businesses nor the value associated with any payments.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT CYBERSECURITY WELLBEING

 

We all live in a data-driven world and it’s your responsibility to protect your data. Cybersecurity must be that the forefront of any IT strategy – at home and work. You don’t need to fall foul of ransomware and the potential catastrophes that follow. Zhero has over 20 years of experience in professional business IT, with cybersecurity solutions, including training and risk mitigation being our specialties. Contact Zhero right now and we’ll take care of your cybersecurity wellbeing.