Has ransomware changed the rules of cyberwarfare?

6th e-Crime and Cybersecurity Nordics
27th October 2021 
Online

With hackers picking off targets at will, and nation-state involvement blurry, what next for CISOs and government?

Coop Sweden probably didn’t expect the Kaseya ransomware attack to affect it, since it had no direct dealings with the Florida-based IT company. However, just a couple of days since news of the attack broke, the company had to close more than half of its 800 stores after point-of-sale tills and self-service checkouts stopped working.

The supermarket was not itself targeted by hackers – but MSPs which use Kaseya’s VSA platform to manage IT infrastructure for their own customers were. This allowed the hackers to potentially reach thousands of companies across the globe.

In the case of Coop Sweden the hackers attacked a service provider responsible for billing and point-of-sale systems - one consequence being that retailers could not charge their customers.

The likely source of the attack was the Russia-linked REvil ransomware which deployed a version of the REvil ransomware to some of Kaseya’s customers, disguised as an update to the firm’s VSA software, in a two-stage attack via updates reminiscent of the recent Sunburst/Solarwinds attack. A month previously, the FBI blamed the same group for paralyzing the meat packer JBS.

The sophistication of these ransomware attacks is worrying, particularly since many companies struggle with traditional, unsophisticated ransomware delivered by email.

The continuing global impact of ransomware suggests that things will get worse before they get better. If they get better.

The fact that some level of state tolerance, if not actual support, is clearly involved, is also, finally, beginning to be recognised as a gamechanger. No less a figure than US President Joe Biden responded to the Kaseya attack by directing US intelligence agencies to investigate.

This is an indication that governments are starting to realise that leaving cybersecurity to the private sector may not be enough.

So, what do CISOs need from governments to help them reach at least a stalemate in the guerrilla war against the hackers? What role do the critical providers of core infrastructure, both hardware and software, play in building an alliance against cyber-criminality? And what can CISOs do better to help themselves?
 

The 6th e-Crime & Cybersecurity Congress Nordics will take place online and will look at how cybersecurity teams are tackling the new normal. Join our real-life case studies and in-depth technical sessions from the security and privacy teams behind some of the world’s most admired brands.

  • Securing critical national infrastructure

    • Critical national infrastructure is being brought to its knees by successful attacks, harming organisations, supply chains, and the public
    • Resourcing and senior management commitment are important, but what can CISOs do to ensure the resilience of critical national infrastructure?
  • Are criminals winning the ransomware war?

    • Ransomware tests every part of your infrastructure, from awareness to endpoint protection to patching to phishing defences
    • Some attacks are sophisticated, but most rely on traditional methods and vectors
    • So why is it so hard to beat them? Is AI or zero trust or something else the answer?
  • Securing the enterprise of sensors

    • Any firm with a manufacturing operation or a supply chain is already hugely exposed to the IoT.
    • From manufacturing, to logistics, to insurance and services, this is just the beginning.
    • With so much data flowing from sensors and legacy control systems outside normal networks, how does security work?
  • Getting Cloud migration right

    • Migrating to the Cloud is a priority
    • But, if not properly managed, cloud migrations result in extra complexity and risk
    • How can firms efficiently assess cloud readiness, plan and execute migrations, and establish comprehensive cloud governance?
  • Doing the basics better

    • As businesses continue to grow and scale to fit their post-pandemic environments, security teams must remain vigilant regarding cyber hygiene.
    • Email is still the key vector. Patching matters. MFA is essential. And now, just as ever, backups are non-negotiable.
    • How can security teams remain vigilant and ensure cyber hygiene?
  • Resilience and regulation redefining security

    • The FCA's PS21/3 and the EU's DORA are key steps to ensuring there is regulatory control over operational resilience
    • US President Joe Biden has also committed to regulating cybersecurity in major pipelines, and other critical sectors are sure to follow
    • But with attacks on the rise, can we expect further regulation to follow?
  • Security on a budget: protecting health and education

    • Healthcare and Education are just two sectors that have been constantly barraged with attacks across the last 12 months
    • These sectors contain vast amounts of data and can be brought to a standstill through a successful attack
    • What can security teams in key sectors do to improve resilience?
  • Securing the return to the office

    • We may not be returning to a fully office-based world, but there is little doubt that companies in all sectors want employees to be working more in the office than they are now
    • Securing that transition, and the fluid and uncertain environment it creates, is the next big challenge for CISOs
    • What are the tools and strategies that can help?
  • Getting smart with cybersecurity budgets

    • Affordability and value for money are as important in cybersecurity as they are in any other service sector
    • And those allocating budget to cybersecurity need to understand ROI
    • So, while new technologies such as XDR and new philosophies such as ZTNA and SASE sound good, can they demonstrate value and practicality?

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