Ahead of his appearance at Cloud & Cyber Security Expo 2019, Frank Satterwhite discusses the latest ransomware developments with John Bensalhia
That’s a key driver for global ransomware attacks on businesses. It’s one of the components of Frank Satterwhite’s forthcoming talk at this year’s Cloud and Cyber Security Expo.
Frank (Consultant, 1600 Cyber Specialist, Service Delivery Manager, NATO E-NPKI) comments: “I will talk in detail about what’s at stake for our way of life and what the appropriate commitment should be to cyber security for business.”
Since doing his undergrad at UC Berkeley and Masters in Cyber at George Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering, for over 15 years, Frank has supported NATO and US Military systems and interoperability exercises in classified environments.
“Currently, I am an ISACA authorised trainer and have roughly 10 IT & cyber security certifications including CISSP, CISM, CSX-P, and ITIL Intermediate Level. My interests in the world of tech are directly tied to my interest in preserving democracy, diversity in STEM, and protecting people’s way of life.”
The problem with ransomware attacks is that businesses underestimate what’s at stake.
“There are too many businesses building cyber security training around sending phishing emails and seeing how many employees click on them,” explains Frank. “Not good enough. Not close to being good enough.”
‘Funding the attacks against us’
Two notable trends have been seen in the last year with respect to global ransomware attacks.
“One is the poorly Secured Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers serving as the initial access point facilitating the majority of successful attacks,” says Frank. “The second is the nation-state threat actors exploiting ransomware and crypto currency mining. Simply put, the same countries that pose the greatest threats to democracy need money. We are, in essence, funding the attacks against us, if we are not prepared.”
Frank says that people are the key when it comes to preventing the ransomware attacks.
“Not having the proper user awareness, or patch level on even one system on an infrastructure of a 10,000-person organisation is unacceptable. It’s like having a mansion with premises secured, except leaving a door or window wide open.”
Despite the threats, Frank says that he is still optimistic that attack levels will decrease in the future.
“The reason why I’m honoured to be asked to participate in expo in London is it brings together industry leaders who can collaborate. We can effect a global, co-ordinated security response to prevent and mitigate ransomware attacks.”