Albert Einstein, the revolutionary physicist, is often associated with an ominous quote: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." This statement highlights the potential of catastrophic fallout from the use of advanced weapons.
In the cybersecurity realm, we understand that today's most potent weapons are not physical, but digital - strings of 1s and 0s. Today's criminals have moved from masks and guns to keyboard and screens. A successful ransomware attack can yield far more profit than a traditional bank heist, all from the comfort of home.
Ransomware – The Preferred Digital Weapon
Ransomware attacks have become the preferred weapon for these digital criminals, demonstrating effectiveness, profitability, and a surprising ease of execution. This is especially true when targeting organizations with critical digital infrastructure but little experience in handling cybercrime. Such targets, unfortunately, are abundant.
A case in point is a recent ransomware attack on a healthcare system in Tallahassee, Florida. The attack was so crippling that the hospital resorted to manual, paper-based patient record management and even had to divert emergency patients to other facilities.
The Return to Pen and Paper
A subsequent news report revealed that the hospital chose to use pen and paper over compromised network computers, a decision rooted in caution, and they were still doing so four days later. This situation raises the question of whether the hospital invested sufficiently in identifying network vulnerabilities.
All systems are potentially vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Mitigating this risk demands constant vigilance. As we brace ourselves for a possible "Black Swan" cybercriminal event, or even an all-out cyber war, we might find ourselves relying more heavily on simpler, more traditional tools - like pencil and paper.
Investing in pencil and paper might be a wise decision, as we prepare for the unexpected in this digital age.