Barkly sets out three ransomware predictions

2017-02-17 08:05:00  ·  620 Views  ·  1 Likes  | 

As a criminal business, ransomware’s big. It’s set to be bigger. Jack Danahy, a Barkly co-founder, writing in Barkly’s blog says cyber-attackers will use three new methods in 2017.

  1. An extra threat of doxxing, public disclosure of private records, either a file at a time or as a catastrophic dump to increase the chances of victims paying the ransom
  2. Ransomware infections will spread more quickly and easily
  3. Fileless ransomware will increase rapidly.

A Barkly survey reports only 5% of US organisations say they paid ransoms. Better back-ups and easier data recovery have reduced ransom attack’s effectiveness. Cyber-criminals are shifting their attacks to businesses instead of consumers to demand more. It means they’re increasing the potential damage and disruption of not paying. Other countries are seen as softer targets too. It’s a warning for Africa’s eHealth and healthcare.

Ransomware attacks will also increasingly bypasses scanners and signature-based anti-virus security. It raises the chances of infection for less sophisticated organisations. These’ll add to the more common technique of phishing emails with malicious attachments. Fileless attacks aren’t easy to identify using conventional endpoint security tools.

The lessons for Africa’s eHealth are stark. Two main themes are:

  1. Stepping up basic cyber-security measures rapidly, and not just to deal with ransomware
  2. Adopt more sophisticated cyber-security to deal with emerging new threats, especially ransomware threats.

Health systems will need investment in new cyber-security skills and solutions. They’ll need new eHealth strategies too.