Security : Malware : Ransomware :
Cyber-Ransom Likely to Become the New Norm
KnowBe4 Acts on High Stakes with Mobile Devices as Prey
In response to a recent study done on IT professionals, KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman announced an extension of the company’s offer to pay any customer’s cyber ransom with Bitcoin if they are hit after stepping through KnowBe4’s security awareness training. Our 300+ sample study shows 88% of IT professionals expect ransomware to grow the rest of this year. The proliferation of ransomware attacks include a shift from PCs to mobile devices and can add up to dire consequences for organizations with BYOD.
According to Sjouwerman, “IT staff are telling us their confidence in traditional endpoint security is falling, having decreased from 96% down to 59% in just six months. Between increased use of smartphones for email and legacy systems still running XP, there are a number of opportunities for the Russian cyber mafia to extort users.”
Trend Micro’s VP Technology & Solutions JD Sherry said "Individuals are having a hard time because they're not using the basic security precautions. They are becoming infected, going to sites that have malicious downloads and getting this payload on their mobile device. This is a big problem not only for consumers, but for organizations that have an open BYOD policy."
The study shows 81% of IT professionals depend on backup to bail them out from a ransomware attack but a whopping 88% recognize security awareness training as the most effective protection from ransomware. In a whitepaper from Intronis, Storage Magazine reports that over 34% of companies do not test their backups and of those tested 77% found that tape backups failed to restore. According to Microsoft, 42% of attempted recoveries from tape backups in the past year have failed.
Sjouwerman further stated, “An effective program such as Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training can reduce the risk of human error. To be effective, you need to keep KnowBe4 Acts on Security Threatsecurity top of mind in an informative but practical way. So called “point of failure training” (also called embedded training) doesn’t work, according to a joint study done by Dartmouth/MITRE/Vanderbilt. We are so confident our training program is truly effective, we’ll pay your ransom with Bitcoin if you get hit with ransomware while you are a customer.”
About Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4
Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”) is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, LLC, which provides web-based Security Awareness Training (employee security education and behavior management) to small and medium-sized enterprises. A data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman was the co-founder of Inc. 500 company Sunbelt Software, an award-winning anti-malware software company that he and his partner sold to GFI Software in 2010. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help entrepreneurs tackle cybercrime tactics through advanced security awareness training. KnowBe4 services hundreds of customers in a variety of industries, including highly-regulated fields such as healthcare, finance and insurance and is experiencing explosive growth with a surge of 427% in 2013 alone. Sjouwerman is the author of four books, with his latest being Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.
About Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick is an internationally recognized computer security expert with extensive experience in exposing the vulnerabilities of complex operating systems and telecommunications devices. He gained notoriety as a highly skilled hacker who penetrated some of the most resilient computer systems ever developed. Today, Mitnick is renowned as an information security consultant and speaker, and has authored three books, including The New York Times best seller Ghost in the Wires. His latest endeavor is a collaboration with KnowBe4, LLC.
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