February - 2017 - issue > CXO Insights

Enterprises Need to Relook at Ransomware

Nilesh Jain, Country Manager - India & SAARC, Trend Micro
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Nilesh Jain, Country Manager - India & SAARC, Trend Micro
Headquartered in Mumbai, Trend Micro is a leader in IT security. The company develops innovative security solutions that make the world safe for businesses and consumers to exchange digital information.

While the country is still reeling under the recent hacks by hacker group calling itself Legion, the group that claimed to have compromised databases belonging to banking institutions, government email servers and the databases of a leading hospital; if recent reports are to be believed there is more in store. India's share in ransomware attacks continues to rise and currently stands at 16.9 percent.

Several large companies today are under the purview of ransomware attacks, and the impact is only getting advanced with time. The entire cybercriminal world has been taken over and it seems like there is no end to it. What's alarming is the fact that while enterprises in India are spending more on cybersecurity each year, organizations are still not confident of their ability to sense, resist and respond to cyber threats. Our earlier reports stated had that over 180 Indian companies were victims of Ransomware online extortion schemes in the first six months of the year 2016, causing a loss of whopping $3 billion.

To understand this in its entirety, we need to comprehend the modus operandi behind what really motivates cybercriminals, which is largely to instill 'Fear', at a very primordial level to achieve their larger objective of creating disruption. They extort money from companies with the help of ransomware using fear as an effective tactic. The fear to part with vital information or customer files along with the dreading fear of public exposure makes companies abide by the demands of the attackers. With the number of internet of things (IoT)-enabled devices increasing, ransomware is all set to enter another revolution. Cybercriminals have already started attacking smartphones and the day is not far when wearable devices will also be on their list. In fact, Smart TVs are already under their radar.

As per a recent survey carried out by a leading consulting firm, outdated information security architecture and controls has most increased risk exposure for India over the last 12 months. What is interesting to take cognizance of, is that vulnerabilities related to mobile computing, social media and cloud computing feature prominently as contributing to enhanced risk exposure for corporate India. Among threats, the majority believe that cyber-attacks are primarily targeted at defacing/disrupting organizations or towards stealing intellectual property or data 51 percent, followed by fraud 48 percent.

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