One of my first ever blogs was on ransomware. I called it “The Evolution of Extortion.” In early 2014 I tagged Ransomware as the #1 cyber-threat going forward for all individuals and organizations, including families. Massive attacks would invariably wreak havoc on millions, and no one was prepared.
The “The Evolution of Extortion’s” byline on ransomware was:
"From here on there are two types of users on the Internet: those that prepare and those that recover."
Friday’s ransomware attacks are a reminder of cyber risk’s mounting scope and scale. It is increasingly clear individuals, families, and groups of all sizes regardless of industry or location can expect escalating activity for years to come. We surely will see many more climactic-like events before cybercriminals lose their edge and the cycle finally turns.
Over the last few years since “The Evolution of Extortion” I have been in front of over 2,500 people speaking, presenting, consulting, and training groups as small as a few, and as many as a few hundred. In every event, I embed the same six questions somewhere into that day’s presentation and collect individual response rates along the way. We analyze the results across industries and use the data as a barometer to gauge cyber risk awareness and preparedness more broadly.
It is uncanny how consistent and predictable the response has been to these questions and two of them relate to Friday's attacks.
What Caused the Ransomware Attacks?
When presenting, two of the questions I ask, and the consistent responses they elicit, are directly related to the root cause of Friday’s attacks.
1) Who has heard of ransomware?
2) Who has heard of “Moore’s Law”?
My audience members range from “the boardroom to the break room” and include professional groups, like lawyers, real estate agents, and financial services firms. I’ve presented in living rooms for families and family offices, and at conferences for professionals and their clientele.
Who’s heard of ransomware? Consistently less than 5% of the audience says they have heard of it, and the response rate varies little with industry and individual role.
The results get worse from here.
When asked the second question; who has heard of "Moore’s Law," the affirmative response rate is less than 2%.
It seems no one knows ransomware is the fastest spreading crime in history or Moore’s Law is the #1 fundamental driver of change in the world today. Or, that after spooling up over the past 50 years, the New Digital Age is upon us and the immediate years ahead will bring change like no civilization has seen before.
Criminal hackers around the world will continue to gain advantage for several years more at least, and for professional criminals everywhere; it’s open season. The Internet of Things, digital currencies, and an increasingly digitally-clueless and vulnerable pool of potential targets numbering in the billions – it’s the Golden Age for all of crime.
So, the problem is not outdated software without updates and patches. The problem isn’t your backup routine. The problem is we are the doorsteps to the new Digital Age, and an entirely new set of competencies and sensibilities are required just for survival, no less security and success.
For more on ransomware:
Cybersecurity for Life - How to Protect and Position for the New Digital Age
One of the guiding principals to “Cybersecurity for Life” is “Protect and Position”. We mean, when you decide to use cybersecurity technology to protect yourself it works not only to seriously reduce your cyber risk, but it also positions you to benefit from regular innovation and improvements coming from the evolving cybersecurity industry today. And, perhaps even more important; when you use this technology to protect yourself you are simultaneously enhancing your digital adaptability and agility skills. Through regular awareness and everyday habits, evolvement takes place, and the competencies for survival and success are formed.
Enhancements like machine learning, predictive algorithms, and artificial intelligence are all contributing to better protection with greater ease-of-use and increased affordability. Now, the next generation of solutions has arrived, and a great example of this technology and its application to your quality of life is device protection.
Using an enterprise-grade device protection software service is the best defense to ransomware and all strains of viruses and malware. And, it updates your software for you! Really.
Updating software alone reduces the risk of being breached by way over 50%. With the rest of the Device Protection defenses operated in unison to protect your device and your digital life, you come very close to eliminating the ineliminable.
You can read more about advances in remarkable technology that are available for personal digital security here:
Which Device Protection Software Do You Recommend
For over four years Total Digital Security has been protecting individuals, families, and small groups that either don’t have an IT department or just want to protect themselves individually or collectively. We know what works and we uniquely bring commercial-class cybersecurity products for use on all of your devices, including smartphones and computers. Apple included.
More about Device Protection and how to purchase:
This short video illustrates how Device Protection works to protect you and your devices every day.
Other services include:
Private Email Domains
Click for more creating a Private Email Domain.
Commercial-Class VPN Encryption
Click for more on using a VPN to mask all you do online, including over public WiFi.
Hacker on the Forbes List
Unfortunately, based on my real-world in the field experiences of the past few years, I overwhelmingly favor the odds to the side of cybercriminals. In fact, I give it five years before Forbes immortalizes the first criminal hacker to be included as a member of the magazine’s esteemed list of the world’s wealthiest individuals.
With exponential rates taking place in cybercrime, my prediction likely errs to the outside.
Total Digital Security is ready when you decide to take action and demand "Cybersecurity for Life" for yourself and those you care about most.
- Commercial-grade Cybersecurity Solutions
- Speaking and Presenting
- Education and Training
Find out more about purchasing our #1 recommended Device Protection software: