by Jonathan Wharton-Street
Ransomware threats have been building for several years. With the barrier to entry lowered considerably thanks to “as-a-service” affiliate programmes, threat groups have thrived. Along with healthcare, the education sector was hard hit during the height of the pandemic, particularly in the UK. Unfortunately, the risks are no less acute in 2021: the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has recently issued a new alert warning of a surge in attacks on schools, colleges and universities.
From speaking with customers in the education sector, we understand that the lack of centralised visibility and management across hybrid environments and systems has put a strain on resource to manage the disparate systems / consoles by multiple vendors, but more importantly that this has created a risk of threats been missed or a delay in seeing them until too late. We also understand that 3rd party Research which brings in much needed revenue to Higher education customers, is an areas that most concerns them from the threat of ransomware.
In this first of a mini blog series on ransomware in the education sector, we take a look at the scale of the threat, and where resources should be best directed to mitigate it.
by Simon Walsh
Ireland’s healthcare system has been the recent subject of an unprecedented cyber attack, called out by the Irish government as “possibly the most significant cybercrime attack on the Irish state”. This has led to IT systems being taken offline and the cancellation of a number of hospital appointments.
by Toby Hart
Over the past few days, one story in the US has threatened to overshadow even the race for the White House. A set of apparently coordinated ransomware attacks reportedly hit hundreds of hospitals, medical facilities and clinics. Although no warnings have thus far been issued by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) or NHS Digital, UK hospitals should be alert to the malicious campaign potentially spreading their way, and of other attackers targeting medical facilities already stretched to the limit with the fight against COVID-19.
The good news is that by detecting the early warning signs including the presence of TrickBot and/or Emotet Trojans, healthcare organisations (HCOs) can mitigate the threat before it has a chance to make a major impact.
by Bharat Mistry
The cybercrime underground is continually evolving. That’s what makes it so compelling for news editors: there’s always something new to write about. However, the volatility of the threat landscape also makes it difficult to issue accurate long-term predictions about where things are headed. Just take ransomware: we saw a significant decline in detections and new families last year. But in the first half of 2019, several well publicised attacks on major organisations have raised the profile of the threat yet again.