Is ransomware the biggest threat to your data? (think vessels and onboard computers)

WalterHannemann_boatcyberrisk

Everyone dealing with cyber security, even if remotely, has heard about ransomware. It’s big business (FBI estimates it to become a USD 1 billion business in 2016 alone) and one of the most prevalent forms of cyber incidents.Very simply put, if a computer is infected with ransomware, the data in it is encrypted and unless a ransom is paid, there are usually no other means of recovering that data. And it might come with additional malware, left active even if ransom is paid.

But what if you have a good, updated, offline backup? Well, clean the computer (better yet, clean by reinstalling it completely) and restore the data. Apart from the time and effort it takes, problem solved (and a good disaster recovery strategy helps reducing both time and effort).

But let’s talk about that data, stored on that computer. And instead of ransomware, there is a hardware failure – the hard disk decides to call it quits. And it doesn’t ask ransom. The data is lost. Forever. Unless… (check previous paragraph).

Would you consider a hard drive failure less of a cyber security problem? If you have to choose one, wouldn’t you even prefer having the option of paying ransom to recover your data? (And no, I don’t think paying ransom is at all a good strategy).

When it comes to ransomware, you can spend a lot of money and effort in technical countermeasures and awareness training, but having good infrastructure with good disaster recovery plans goes a long way into protecting your data.

 

Re-produced by kind permission of the author:

Walter Hannemann

Product Manager in Dualog, Digital Entrepreneur

Is ransomware the biggest threat to your data? (think vessels and onboard computers)

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