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Industrial Facilities are at Risk of Data Theft and Ransomware Attacks

 

Recently, multinational cybersecurity software company ‘Trend Micro’ has published a new report on cybersecurity in which it has highlighted the growing threats of downtime and sensitive credential theft from ransomware attacks targeting industrial facilities. 

“Industrial Control Systems are incredibly challenging to secure, leaving plenty of gaps in protection that threat actors are exploiting with growing determination,” said Ryan Flores, senior manager of forward-looking threat research for Trend Micro...” 

“…Given the US government is now treating ransomware attacks with the same gravity as terrorism, we hope our latest research will help industrial plant owners to prioritize and refocus their security efforts."

What happens when a threat actor targets your facility? 

In factories and other facilities, there are crucial elements of utility plants that help in monitoring and controlling industrial processes across IT-OT networks called Industrial Control Systems (ICS). However, in any case, when ransomware gets into these systems; it can stop all operations for several days and can heighten the risk of vulnerabilities. 

As per the published report, several different revised versions have been accounted for more than half of the ICS ransomware attacks in 2020 including Ryuk (20%), Nefilim (14.6%), Sodinokibi (13.5%), and LockBit (10.4%). 

Cybersecurity And Infrasture Agency (CISA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), jointly published a report titled ‘The Guide’, which aims at informing and enhancing network defense and reducing exposure to a ransomware attack. The two measures offered are Ransomware Prevention Best Practices and a Ransomware Response Checklist. Moreover, CISA provides various scanning and testing services to help organizations assess, identify and mitigate their exposure to threats, including ransomware, at no expense. 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also provides help against ransomware attacks. It offers help in detecting and responding. It is worth noting that lately, several cybersecurity agencies are coming forward for industries so that they can detect and mitigate future ransomware attacks and numerous guide reports are also being published on ransomware threats.