Imagine this: you come home from work, turn the key and slowly walk into your house. As you step in, your jaw drops as you see the horrifying emptiness of your home. No furniture, no things, no trace of anything you once had. Your chest tightens. Your heart races. Your head spins into a whirlwind of panic. In the corner of your eye, you see a note on the floor, plastered with a hodge-podge of letters cut from magazines: PAY UP OR YOU’LL NEVER SEE YOUR THINGS AGAIN!
We just described a typical ransom scene in any action or thriller movie, and it works no different from one particular type of cyber-attack: the destructive, deceptive, deadly threat called ransomware. As the name applies, this form of malware locks users out of their system, takes their files, and asks for money so that you can regain access.
Not too long ago, the global online community was under attack by a ransomware bug known as Petya, which took over computers worldwide and demanded $300 from users. It disrupted the operations of many large organizations in the USA and Europe, including advertising firm WPP and French construction supplies company Saint-Gobain. In May, another ransomware bug known simply as WannaCry struck a number of organizations across the globe, particularly hospitals in Britain.
How big of an impact can ransomware create on an organization? How can we prevent ransomware and other cyber attacks from inflicting horror onto our systems?
In this episode of The Breakdown, we talk about the horrors of ransomware and how we can protect ourselves with MetroStar’s resident cybersecurity experts: MetroStar’s Director of Cybersecurity Strategy and Alignment Dr. Julie E. Mehan, and Director of Cybersecurity Clay Calvert.