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Ransomware remains single biggest threat: Nclose

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 12 Jun 2023

Ransomware has evolved and remains the single biggest threat to organisations today, claims IT security services company Nclose.

The South African cyber security specialist’s co-founder and technical director Martin Potgieter is scheduled to deliver a presentation on the ransomware epidemic at the 2023 ITWeb Security Summit, to be held on 15 June 2023 at the Century City Conference Centre, in Cape Town.

“While nation state actors may be the most capable attackers, cyber crime gangs that utilise ransomware are the biggest threat to organisations today. Ransomware has evolved dramatically over the last decade. In this talk, we will take a look at how it has evolved and see what we can expect in the future, not just from ransomware but from cyber crime attacks overall,” says Potgieter.

Cyber security experts have underlined the evolution of ransomware as a means to infiltrate and encrypt data to a tool used for extortion and DDOS attacks focused primarily on public services and government departments.

In February this year, ITWeb reported on an appeal by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) for businesses and organisations to “build robust cyber resilience strategies and routinely evaluate disaster recovery procedures” as ransomware continues to threaten operations.

ISPA chairperson Sasha Booth-Beharilal said: “Not only are ransomware attacks becoming more frequent, but developments overseas are suggesting that policing agencies globally are not considering the payment of ransom as a mitigating factor when considering enforcement actions. This, again, underscores the importance of a proactive approach to cyber security.”

Nclose continues to underline the severity of ransomware as a threat.

Potgieter said: “The attackers are shifting their approaches and methodologies as systems become more secure and intelligent. In the past, hackers would break in, encrypt everything and take a copy of the data and then demand a ransom to decrypt it. Now, they are going straight to stealing the data and extorting the victims – it involves less risk with a lower chance of being detected and potentially easier profit.”

Looking ahead to the summit, Potgieter added: “Some take-aways from this talk include: go back and see how ransomware has evolved over the years; look at what we can expect to see in terms of new or altered attack methods; and what do we need to prepare for this evolution.”

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