Marie Clutterbuck, Data Protection Expert at Tectrade, looks at the potential dangers facing military security should the worst happen and the military fall victim to a cyber attack, and how DR testing can play a crucial role in data recovery and reducing downtime as published in MOD Defence magazine.
There are two main types of attack that can cause issues, and both primarily come in the form of ransomware – a threat that continues to grow in sophistication. Untargeted ransomware attacks tend to have the widest spread, largely through phishing emails that will put the data of vulnerable devices – or the entire network – behind a paywall.
This is the type of attack which exposed the NHS’s dangerously outdated IT infrastructure to WannaCry in May 2017, causing 19,000 appointments to be cancelled. This attack occurred because one infected device got onto the network, and then quickly proliferated. The motivation for untargeted ransomware is financial and malicious, but it is not purposefully aiming to disrupt operations for anything other than monetary gain. Targeted attacks, however, are much deadlier. Should it be targeted ransomware with solely financial motivations, the hackers will be aware that the data is invaluable and demand a large sum for the recovery key. With the highly confidential data that is housed by the military, there will likely be fewer copies and the access would be much more privileged – leading the organisation to often see paying the ransom as the only option available.
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