Cyber attacks have become a common phenomenon in the technology driven world we live in. With greater dependency on IT infrastructure for day-to-day activities, these attacks can significantly hamper organisations by bringing them to standstill and cause huge loss both in terms of money and brand value. Information technology bigwigs have been coming up with updates in their software in order to prevent vulnerability of systems. The responsibilities of IT management teams too have heightened in recent times with the increase in number of cyber attacks.
Ransomware – How it affects business organisations
Money Control magazine recently reported the governments intent towards enhancing IT infrastructure security at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The operations at one of the terminals of the port, which is one of the largest container ports in India was hit because of ransomware attack recently. The virus is named Petya and it has affected many companies in the Europe and the US. Ukrainian airport and government agencies too were affected. This is one of the major global cyber attacks after the WannaCry attack in the month of May, 2017.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that attacks devices and networks and encrypts files such that they become inaccessible to users. The attackers’ motto can be monetary gain, causing disruption or it can be a political motivated attack. Ransomware not only causes loss in terms of productivity but it may also hurt businesses wherein they lose clients and customer loyalty. According to a report in CBS News, the loss caused by WannaCry ransomware alone could be up to $ 4 billion and the virus spread across 150 countries. This loss is much higher compared to the total loss from such attacks during the year 2016 which was $ 1.5 billion as estimated by Cybersecurity Ventures. The estimated loss in the year 2016 took into account loss of productivity, cost of investigation and cost of restoring data.
Cyber Attacks and Role of IT Infrastructure Management
The role of IT infrastructure management professionals becomes crucial in prevention of the attack. The identification of right kind of security resources to avoid breach and constant upgrade of software and products as per the needs of the organisation are absolutely essential. For instance, the National Health Service organisation in Britain was attacked in May, 2017 by WannaCry virus. One of the reasons for this problem was the use of an old operating system Windows XP, the support for which from Microsoft had ended in the month of April. Technology giants have recommend few other measures which can help IT departments in protecting their critical infrastructure from ransomware or reduce downtime during such instances. Some of the points are listed below.