In the cybersecurity space, there are many things we do not all agree on, but one thing I have noticed in the past year is that we all agree that the U.S. can expect to see more ransomware attacks as the nation recover from recent attacks which included the District of Columbia Police Department, The Colonial Pipeline and now the JBS meat plant. These will continue to increase, especially in the state, local environment, as well as in the critical infrastructure and manufacturing space.
There are two main reasons for this trend:
1. Organizations are not implementing the basic security controls thus allowing attackers to take advantage of easy attack vectors. A major of the critical infrastructure in the U.S. are operated by private organizations with very little IT and security regulations.
2. Many organizations are frequently deciding to pay the ransom after they have been attacked. Security researchers and law enforcement often recommend organizations not to pay the ransoms, but when stakeholders and the media are applying pressure, organizational leader must do what is best for the organization. This validates the ransomware industry and their frequency and tactics become more sophisticated.
This recent attack seems to have a Russian’s group fingerprint associated to it just like the pipeline event. Many security researchers, law enforcement officials and politicians are recommending in conjunction to increasing regulations on U.S. based organizations, the U.S. must also impose sanctions against countries that allow these types of activities to occur inside their borders.