The makers of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red, are the latest victims of the most prevalent cyber threat at the moment – ransomware attacks. The idea behind the attack is simple; obtain access to the victim company’s internal network, digitally scramble all their data, then demand a ransom payment for a key that unlocks the scrambled data. The hackers may charge a few hundred pounds, all the way up to tens of millions, depending on whose network they have compromised and how much damage has been done.
The motivation for the cyber-attack is clear. The cyber-criminals are interested in making as much money as possible, and they know if they are able to use the ransomware to cripple a company, it is highly likely they will pay. The problem is that the victim company often has no reasonable alternative; of course, companies will have backups of their data, but in many cases these are either incomplete or are also infected by the ransomware. Even if the company does have a reliable and safe backup, cyber-criminals now are adding an additional threat – pay up or we’ll release your data onto the internet for everyone to see. This is the case with CD Project Red, the criminals make reference to backups in their ransom note but threaten release of sensitive intellectual property if the company do not negotiate a ransom fee.
Cyber-criminals are not the only groups known to conduct hacking attacks on companies. Nation states are known to breach corporate networks in order to steal intellectual property or extract information that could be valuable in espionage. In addition, aggrieved employees are a very real threat to organisations. They have access to corporate data in order to perform their job, and therefore do not require any hacking experience to steal data. They could be motivated by their own grievances with the company, or they could be influenced or manipulated by cyber-criminal gangs into stealing data. Either way they have easy access to the data.
What may not be apparent to most people is that cyber-attacks such as ransomware are much easier to accomplish than one might imagine. Combine this with the potential for millions of pounds to be earned from just one successful attack and it is easy to appreciate just why cyber-attacks are so prevalent, and why having robust cyber security defences is of paramount importance. Most cyber-attacks are successful because of simple mistakes made by the company; a weak password on an email account, an out-of-date computer pointed to the internet, or an employee falling for a phishing attack. On the flip side, this makes it possible to prevent the majority of these attacks with a few simple steps. Falanx Cyber can conduct a free-of-charge cyber risk assessment on your company, showing you where you are most vulnerable and how our ‘detection-in-depth’ approach can make a huge difference, preventing and detecting cyber attacks as they occur.
Contact us now to schedule in your free risk assessment.