Do not pay the ransom for three reasons. Number one, you are not guaranteed you are going to get your information and the encryption key back. Generally, you will, but there is no guarantee. Second, if you pay, you are tagged as a payer, and you might get hit again. Third, a lot of times when someone pays ransom, that money can be used to fund other criminal activities – like human trafficking and terrorism activities – and criminals generally generate money to fund big operations by doing ransomware attacks. So you may be encouraging other illegal activity by paying ransom.”
~ Jeff Lanza
former FBI special agent and cybersecurity expert
- All crises tend to expose vulnerabilities and accelerate transformation. The uniqueness from which the Covid-19 crisis has stemmed has shone a new light on the potential disruption to operational and technological infrastructure, as an increasingly connected world has had to operate remotely.
- Our increasingly connected world means that it has become possible for unwanted actors to infiltrate and compromise nuclear power stations, electricity grids and traffic lights – maybe even democratic elections and referenda.
- Many organisations have increasingly moved away from isolated, manually controlled operational technology (OT) systems to an environment in which physical processes are controlled with sophisticated and interconnected information technology (IT) equipment.
- Integrating OT with IT will have a great impact on network structure and will force companies to think of a more effective way to protect their network. With the addition of new connected devices, the surface of attack will increase tremendously – and any new device connected will be an entry point for an attacker.
- Of course, once the cybersecurity gap is closed for critical infrastructure, the nature of the industry means that there will already be another surfacing somewhere else in cyberspace. This makes cybersecurity – like the safety of governments, individuals and corporations more generally – a perennial theme in our lives and in our investments.
Thematics AM is an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers
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