Although ransomware has not felt very ‘solid’ so far, its impact is getting increasingly and unavoidably real for everyday people with organised groups of criminals hacking corporate computer systems and demanding millions of dollars in exchange for their safe return.
These ransomware attacks have resulted in all sorts of problems: missed patient appointments and delayed ambulances, closed schools, and transportation problems. Recently, a ransomware attack on the US Colonial Pipeline in May caused gas shortages and even dangerous situations due to panic buying.
A few weeks ago, attackers hacked the JBS meat processing company that led to concerns about meat shortages or other key food providers being at risk. In April this year, Poker machines at Tasmania’s two casinos were shut down as a result of a cyber-attack.
This latest wave of high-profile ransomware incidents is exactly what cybersecurity professionals have been warning about for years. However, the impacts on everyday people, rather than cybersecurity companies, government agencies and corporate executives, has made the risk more tangible. Ransomware attacks and their knock-on effect can lead to everything from minor issues to people losing their lives.
The frequency of these attacks is increasing tremendously during the pandemic. “It’s not only that it’s getting worse, but it’s the worst possible time for it to happen,” said Robert Lee, chief executive of Dragos, an industrial cybersecurity firm.
While ransomware attacks are not a new thing, the money involved has changed drastically, with demands for ransom going up from thousands to millions of dollars. As more companies link up their systems, attackers have access to a wider pool of targets.
Don’t fall victim to a ransomware attack, get yourself protected. Call us today for advice on the best practices to avoid becoming a victim – (07) 4401 5760.