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Ransomware to Hit Cloud Computing in 2018

By Beth Watts
Jan 3, 2018

The last two years have been a real introduction of small businesses to ransomware. While it hasn’t been a welcomed acquaintance, it’s been significant and we are learning a lot from it. Moving into the new year, many businesses are reviewing their own internal vulnerabilities, scheduling internal security audits and planning for strengthening their defenses against cyber threats.

Cyber Threats of 2018

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently reported, six cyber threats we really need to worry about moving into 2018. Notably, they list ransomware moving to cloud computing. This happened plenty in previous years, but they specifically mention more vulnerable, smaller cloud computing vendors housing large amounts of data are particularly vulnerable, as they likely do not have the budget or resources to defend themselves the way the big cloud players can. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and even Rackspace have stringent and expensive security practices. In fact, Jungle Disk only backs up, at this time, to Amazon or Rackspace for security reasons our Security Practices page is worth a read, if you are curious about specifics. But, if you currently back up to or use one of the cheaper, smaller players, you may want to reconsider that vendor, investigate their security protocols or at least backup your virtual servers using Jungle Disk, if you aren’t already. The more data you have and the more sensitive that data is, the more important it is to invest in a secure data storage solution.

Weaponization of Artificial Intelligence

In addition, the MIT report mentions the weaponization of artificial intelligence (AI). We hear about the use of AI a lot in the media by governments as an element of the impending cyber world war forecasters warn we are heading toward, and we have seen it depicted in movies like Ex Machina, Star Wars, Her and Blade Runner or shows like West World. But while it seems like something in the near future, the general public still perceives AI as something in the future, rather than in the present, which is concerning for security reasons. While I do agree that it will be (at least a little) while before you should worry about Siri or Alexa turning against you, I do believe that other types of AI are already successfully targeting you and your business. While we traditionally see spear phishing as one or a group of hackers - live people - targeting us, it’s becoming more and more common for hackers to build machine learning models and neural networks to match humans in the art of crafting convincing fake messages and worse, can churn out many, many more of them without tiring. What ends up being incredibly efficient for the hacker, may be the demise of your company’s security. Don’t worry about Siri, worry about how secure your email is.

So, it seems that a smart New Year’s resolution for your business would be to evaluate your data security plan, and if you aren’t already using the Jungle Disk Data Security Suite, you should start. It takes almost no time to get started, and you can sleep well at night knowing that you and your business are safe from ransomware attacks.