Bonus: On Ransomware and End Users
No panel discussion about cybersecurity threats would be complete without mentions of ransomware and end users. The panelists agreed that ransomware infections are not likely to cease, but they cautioned against losing sight of even more persistent cyber threats. “It’s important to recognize that most ransomware wants to be known. It shows itself,” one CISO stated. “The scariest infiltrations are the ones that don’t want to be known, that hide on the network doing whatever they like.” (For more thoughts on how ransomware could morph into being both an immediate and lurking threat, check out this post by Wombat’s Chief Architect, Kurt Wescoe.)
That said, all panelists agreed that end users are an often-overlooked (and minimized) factor in risk management strategies. “It always comes back to the end user,” a panelist noted. In particular, they cautioned against underestimating the pervasiveness of password reuse and the potential for cybercriminals to use readily available tools and information to craft sophisticated, personalized attacks that are designed to trick users. One CISO jokingly reminded the audience, “What’s the difference between phishing and spear phishing? LinkedIn and Facebook.”
This just emphasizes the need to not only tell users about the threats that are out there but to educate them to recognize and avoid attacks and to apply fundamental best practices. Ongoing security awareness training is the most effective way to keep cybersecurity top of mind for end users and create a culture in which cyber hygiene becomes a daily habit rather than an occasional topic of conversation.