Jul 28, 2020

What is a ransomware attack?

Kayleigh Shooter
2 min
skull made out of computer coding
The software giant Garmin recently suffered a ransomware attack, but what exactly is a ransomware attack? We explain below...

 Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the victim’s files and the hacker then demands a ransom from the victim, promising them sole access to their data again, however once the fee is paid, hackers often still restore access to the data.

The ransom can range from a couple hundred pounds to thousands of pounds, payable in bitcoin.

One of the most common ways that ransomware can penetrate your device, one of the most common ways is a phishing attack. This is when hackers disguise attachments manifesting as somebody that the victim would know. Once the file is opened and downloaded, the hacker can gain control of the device and all of its contents, once the ransomware has taken over the device, it will encrypt all files which can not be decrypted without a key that only the hacker has access to.

There are a number of ways to protect yourself from these vicious attacks, including:

  • Keeping your operating system up to date, this means you will have fewer vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.
  • Do not install any software unless you know exactly what it is and what it does.
  • Invest in some antivirus software which will detect these malicious programs.
  • Lastly, always backup your files so even if the worst happens, you do not lose all of your files and data.

It has recently been announced that Garmin has suffered a ransomware attack with a reported ransom of $10 million being demanded from the GPS services company. The attack commenced late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

The company has now obtained the decryption key and is now regaining control of its services and are beginning to operate as normal. Users are saying that only a portion of the services are operational however it is expected for Garmin to resume full operation soon.

This is the second high profile cyber attack that has targeted such a high profile company in recent weeks. Twitter has recently been targeted by hackers who gained unauthorized access to many user’s sensitive information. 

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Jun 15, 2021

IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending

Elise Leise
3 min
Companies that took the initiative on cloud platforms are trying to cope with the security risks, according to Devo Technology’s report

As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio

But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in. 


Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over? 

According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings. 

Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix. 

Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help: 


What are the Security Issues? 

Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats. 

The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats. 

How Will Companies React? 

They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes. 

After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’. 

The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’. 

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