What we learned from wannacry

In recent weeks, one of the worst cyberattacks in history made headlines around the world when Wannacry disrupted businesses, hospitals and government agencies. It encrypted or scrambled files on more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. It also demanded victims pay a ransom of $300. There is no doubt, the ransomware left those impacted feeling like they really did want to cry. It also got people talking about the security of their data, and not just the security techs – everyone.

Security provider Carbon Black surveyed 5000 people post-attack about Wannacry. Here’s what they said, some results will surprise you:

First Exposure

Fifty-seven per cent of the people surveyed said this was the first time they had had exposure to how ransomware works.

Prepared to Pay

While paying any ransom ever demanded by cyber attackers (or anyone else for that matter!) is not recommended, 52 per cent of people surveyed, so more than half, said they would pay to get their data back. Twelve percent said they would be willing to pay $500 or more, while 59 per cent said they would pay less than $100.

Comment - Paying a ransom is no guarantee of getting access to your data and as many people have found this only leads to demands for more money.  The only way to recover your data is from backup.

It's not up to me

Most of those surveyed believe that the responsibility for keeping their data safe doesn’t actually rest with them, it rests with the organisations that store the data. They also saw that cybersecurity companies and software vendors had an important role to play in data security.

Comment - Your data is ultimately your responsibility no matter where it is stored so you need to ensure that wherever it is stored has the proper security plus backups in place.

Some industries are trusted more than others

Seventy per cent of people surveyed trust companies working in the financial and health care services sectors when it comes to data security, while only 52 percent trust the retail services sector to keep their data safe.

Comment - Is this false confidence seeing as financial records and health care records are the most valuable on the black market?

There's no forgive and forget


Seventy-two per cent of people surveyed said they would consider leaving their financial services provider if that organisation fell victim to a ransomware attack. Sixty-eight per cent and 70 per cent respectively would consider a change if their healthcare or retail providers were attacked and their data was potentially compromised.

What we hold near and dear

Of those surveyed, most hold their financial data and personal photos and videos as near and dear and consider them important to protect. Only five per cent consider medical records and phone data important to protect.

Comment - medical records are extremely valuable on the black market and can fetch up to 20 times more than credit card data.

    If you need any assistance with your cyber strategy or you don't know where to start please call us on 1300 478 738 or email us at info@suretyit.com.au.

    About the Author

    Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.

    Surety IT can help you create the right system to enhance your business, ensuring you know how it is right for you and how to use it. We will tailor a solution to suit your needs with leading systems, local support and more, building your vision for a more flexible and capable business.

    Call us today on 1300 478 738 or email info@suretyit.com.au to discuss your requirements.