Critical Infrastructure Security , Cybercrime , Cybercrime as-a-service

Understanding the Real Threat of Ransomware

Cybersecurity Specialist John Walker on How Attackers Work
Professor John Walker FRSA, cybersecurity researcher/consultant

Cyber extortion through digital means is nothing new, says U.K.-based cybersecurity expert John Walker, but the concerning aspect of today's ransomware attacks is that they are "low-cost in the macro sense and so easy to achieve."

See Also: Double-Click on Risk-Based Cybersecurity

Walker implores organizations to build a robust offline backup strategy and not simply rely on online backups.

He says that when criminals gain access to an organization's environment, "they're taking it very, very slowly and carefully, and mapping from the inside. When they're ready to understand your infrastructure and your architecture, and say where your online backups are or your SAN-attached backups are, then they know where they can encrypt everything."

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group, Walker discusses:

  • Misconceptions around our understanding of ransomware;
  • Known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals exploit to inject ransomware;
  • Why having a robust offline backup strategy is important.

Walker is a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University. He serves on the advisory board for the Kent Interdisciplinary Research Center in Cyber Security - KirCCS - at the University of Kent, and he formerly served in Royal Air Force security and counterintelligence.

About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, ISMG Productions

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.

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