An inside look at the world of ransomware…
By: Christian Espinosa Forbes Councils Member Forbes Technology Council, Cerberus Managing Director. Bestselling author of “The Smartest Person in the Room.” 24x Ironman. Taco Aficionado.
In the history of cybersecurity, there have been many points in time where a threat vector — previously only known to cybersecurity professionals, journalists and researchers — goes mainstream. This was claimed during the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack, which brought organizations, including the U.K.’s National Health Service, to their knees.
In terms of public awareness, the one that really brought ransomware — the malicious software that seizes up a corporate network and demands an often exuberant payment — was one that had a genuine impact on the lives of millions of Americans. When the Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident broke in early May of 2021, it had a serious impact on the computerized systems that run the pipeline from Houston to the East Coast. This led to gas shortages for millions of Americans and resulted in “panic buying” in multiple states, which led to President Biden declaring a state of emergency. Once a cyberattack like this inhibits the ability of normal Americans to fill their gas tanks, we can officially suggest that ransomware has gone mainstream.