Tag Archives: hackers

Cyber exposure

The fastest growing peril faced by businesses today is cyber exposure. Firms are driven by data and are dependent upon technology.

Occurrences in 2017 highlighted cybersecurity issues. Furthermore, we were shown how vulnerable we are to the hacking of our personal information. Hospitals, voting records and school districts were targeted. Not only were US consumers the focus of the hackers but also another 150 countries.

Three hundred thousand computer systems across the globe were affected by the malevolent Wannacry, NotPetya and Equifax malware. They caused extensive business interruption losses.

Brad Gow, global cyber product leader at Sompo International has warned that a threat could come from a dozen different directions. Cyber experts view the industry as unprepared for cyber exposure due to a lack of experience and data. This is troubling in a continually evolving cyber risk environment.

The NotPetya malware was composed to attack corporate networks. It used a hacked version of a well-known accounting program in Ukraine. It destroyed data and filesystems within each computer.

Most of the attacks happened in Ukraine and Russia. Losses amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars within a few weeks. However, business interruptions continued for months.

Brad Gow said that fortunately, it had not been a true zero-day event. If it had been, this would have turned the cyber insurance market on its head. A zero-day attack happens when developers have not had time to fix a recently discovered software vulnerability. Therefore, there is time for hackers to take advantage of the security gap.

Equifax Inc. expects the 2017 data breach costs to top $275 million this year. Reuters has stated that this could be the costliest hack in corporate history.

In May 2017 WannaCry targeted computers running Microsoft Windows operating system. Data was encrypted and then Bitcoin ransom payments were demanded.

It appears that companies are taking cyber insurance more seriously since the above attacks.

Maersk, a transport and logistics company, lost more than $200 million due to the NotPetya attack. As a result, the company has said that they are taking cyber insurance coverage very seriously.

Internet of Things

Robotic vehicles, eyeglasses that email and trash cans that call for pick up. These are some of the aspects of the Internet of Things.

The race into the Internet of Things is on.  Google and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG are only two of the companies in this race. As a result  there is concern by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Trade Commission.    Devices may be vulnerable to hacking.  This could lead to the misuse of personal data.  Furthermore, they could cause physical harm to the owners of these devices.

The McKinsey Global Institute, a research arm for New York-based consulting firm McKinsey and Company Inc., stated the following. The market for wireless, inter-connected devices could create between $2.7 trillion and $6.2 trillion of economic value by 2025.

A computer security company  in Tacoma, Washington, stated that  devices connected to the Internet may involve hackers.  These hackers could remotely take control of appliances inside homes.    Furthermore create vehicles to kill people. This is the dark side of the Internet of Things.

Former U. S. Vice President Dick Cheney said in CBS’s “60 Minutes” program that the defibrillator he had implanted in 2007 had its wireless feature disabled because he feared terrorists could use it to kill him.

In February 2015, a revelation was revealed that hackers could remotely seize control of over a million Chrysler automobiles.   A stark warning threfore that life in an ultra-networked world could be very dark and dangerous.

Two network engineers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek used an Internet-connected computer to take control of a Chrysler Jeep Cherokee driving down a highway in St. Louis. A reporter for the technology magazine “Wired” sat helpless in the driver’s seat.  Miller and Valasek activated the windshield wipers, turned the radio and air conditioning up full blast and disengaged the car’s transmission to thus make the vehicle undriveable. All this was done from Miller’s basement, 10 miles away.