Events , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Governance & Risk Management

WannaCry Outbreak: Watershed Moment

Attacking NHS Made Ransomware Personal, Says Barracuda's Hatem Naguib
Hatem Naguib, senior vice president, Barracuda Networks

When malware comes gunning for your national health service, you're going to take it personally. And that's just one reason why the WannaCry outbreak - among so many malware outbreaks of late - boosted cybersecurity awareness in the United Kingdom and around the world, says Barracuda's Hatem Naguib.

See Also: Live Webinar | Cyber Resilience: Recovering from a Ransomware Attack

Naguib says the rise of easily procured and inexpensive crypto-locking ransomware options continues to lower barriers to entry for new attackers (see Want to Get Into Ransomware? This Kit Costs Just $175).

"I think it's going to get progressively worse," Naguib says. "Teenagers can go and get a ransomware setup and then go get money for the weekend, so that they can go and have fun. It's that easy to make this type of a transaction." The increased availability of such tools also portends attackers attempting to extort money from firms in return for a promise to not attack them, as has been seen in distributed denial-of-service attacks.

In a video interview at the recent Infosecurity Europe conference in London, Naguib discusses:

  • How WannaCry has boosted awareness of information security threats;
  • The impetus for Barracuda's participation in the No More Ransom project;
  • The problem with paying ransoms as some companies have been doing.

Naguib is senior vice president and general manager of the security business at Barracuda Networks, where he has global responsibility for leading security product strategy. He has over 25 years of experience in building technology products, including enterprise software, cloud services, data center virtualization, software-defined networking and cybersecurity. He previously served as vice president of networking and security at VMware.

About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe, ISMG

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.

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