Brace for more cyber attacks in 2018, companies told in new report

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Local companies are likely to experience an increase in ransomware attacks in 2018 just like their global peers, a new report states.

The report, dubbed Cybersecurity Trends 2018: The cost of our connected world was released yesterday by cyber security firm ESET.

In a statement to the Star, ESET senior security researcher Stephen Cobb, who predicted increased attacks on critical infrastructure as a 2017 trend, noted that he anticipates further threats to supply chains in 2018.

“While many large companies appear to be taking cyber-security more seriously these days, with security teams getting both the budget and the C-level backing required to do a good job, many smaller businesses supplying goods and services to larger organisations are struggling. That makes them an attractive target,” Cobb said.

The firms’ prediction follows an increase in and sophistication of cyber-security incidents in 2017.

Despite this increase, the report shows that most companies are still prepared to spend large sums in ransom payment as opposed to investing in their cyber defenses, a move highly discouraged by industry experts.

It proposes that countries should invest in preventative measures in 2018 to safeguard the digital security of the democratic process.

The report also emphasizes on the vulnerability of elections in 2017 as major voting events took place around the world.

This is in addition to user-awareness of data collection, the risks faced by data collected through the Internet of Things, and the significant fines for companies that fail to protect personal data.

Early this year, at least 19 companies in the country were hit by the WannaCry virus attack that affected more than 300,000 users in about 300 countries.

The virus locked files in a computer and instructed users to pay Sh30,000 ($300) in the Internet currency Bitcoin to free them up but cyber security experts warn that payment of the ransom amount does not guarantee that the files will be freed up.

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