This situation is a great example of the importance of patch and firmware management. Just because a system is hosted in the cloud, it does not mean that you are not responsible for parts if not all of the patch and firmware oversight. Pay close attention to your service level agreements and other cloud services documentation.
If you are using these particular Azure services from Microsoft, please review this content and patch accordingly.
It’s that time again when we all get to evaluate our PC and server environments and kick off our monthly patching processes. Please take a look at the changes this month and patch accordingly. And please don’t forget your at-home devices. Patching is not just a business process. All computers and workstations and laptops need to be patched and updated on a regular basis.
This is an interesting admission by the team at Google. Though they have not confirmed the number of affected enterprise customers, I know it least one local organization that was contacted by Google concerning this unintentional data leak. Fortunately, that organization had ceased using the service some time ago.
It does appear that Google has remediated the problem. That said, any potentially affected organization should address password reuse and other related opportunities to mitigate the risk.
This has been ongoing for some time. This article provides a good overview of the plight facing the city of Baltimore. At the end of the day, the situation boils down to a cost benefit analysis weighing the downtime associated with the ransomware attack versus the cost of the bitcoin ransom itself. Then there is the added layer of whether it is prudent or legally advisable to pay a ransom of this type.
In these situations, it is important to remember the layers of protection needed to mitigate these types of attacks against any organization. You should have a strong, flexible endpoint protection solution in place capable of detecting a ransomware infection and stopping its spread. You should also have a sound backup and recovery solution in place with a frequent RPO (recovery point objective) and a very short RTO(recovery time objective).
Learn from this situation in Baltimore and prepare!
Photo Source: Wikipedia
Don’t get me wrong. I am excited and encouraged to know that certain members of the House recognized the need for cybersecurity awareness training for everyone in Congress and presented this legislation. But I must admit that I am a bit sad and discouraged that it will take a literal act of Congress to force our government to train and prepare itself for these types of threats.
As the article mentions, this move is quite a few years late in terms of a best practices approach to cybersecurity. Let’s hope it passes and our government can take another small step forward in the fight against cyber crime. Let’s also hope that all other branches of our government see the value of this training and follow suit!