The Reality of Ransomware hits home

If you weren’t affected by yesterday’s ransomware attack on City Power, you have no doubt heard about it, every major news outlet in the country has reported on it.  A number of Joburg’s residents and businesses were without power yesterday, sitting in cold, dark homes last night and for a change we can’t blame Eskom or State Capture. We could blame the City of Johannesburg, but most of us would be doing it with some level of hypocrisy, how many private companies, from small to medium to even the largest can say with any level of confidence, that they aren’t vulnerable?

We have to blame criminals, hackers, nameless, faceless people or groups that will never have to answer to the Zondo Commission.

And, we need to look at ourselves, rather than victim shame, let’s make sure we are prepared for future attacks, because as conclusively as we know that the sun will rise tomorrow, we know this will happen again, next time it might be your worse, it could affect our hospitals, our schools, our police force.  The implications could be catastrophic.

This is not the first wave of warnings for South Africa, but it is the most public – if you aren’t prepared after this then you can only blame yourself for the consequences.

Rather than point fingers, this should be a warning to every single business and individual in the country of the reality of ransomware.  The term is bandied about, we hear about it on Television dramas, when it affects our favourite celebs, yet most South African’s still believe that this is something that happens elsewhere, not here.  It is a first world problem, it happens only to rich countries, it doesn’t happen in Africa.Well, it does and all day yesterday as well as last night millions of pre-paid Electricity users can attest to the fact that they were literally in the dark.  

The irony of it is that protecting against Ransomware is not expensive nor hard to do if you have the right systems in place.  At LucidView our Enforcer solutions are neither inaffordable nor difficult to implement.  These solutions are tailored for all shapes and sizes of business.  They come with IDPS features that have been developed to identify ransomware.  With our solution in place, yesterday’s attack would never have occurred as the offending connection would have been identified and eliminated when it was planted, which was likely months ago. Thereby saving South African’s who have spent a significant amount of time in the dark, due to corrupt activity they had no control over, from this final injustice.

If we learn nothing else from such an attack it must be this; Ransomware is real, its pervasive, its under reported and not protecting against it, especially if you’re a business or service provider is tantamount to aiding and abetting these nameless, faceless networks.

We provide an accessible and affordable solution to all South African’s.  Today’s events have clearly illustrated that your cyber-security and your physical security can no longer be viewed separately.  Investing in cybersecurity should not cost you a fortune, not investing in it will be significantly more expensive not in the future, but right now.