Ransomware is all the rave. If you read the 2018 Verizon DBIR and our analysis of the findings, you will see the monetization of data targeted by hackers. The truth is, ransomware is not going away, nor are the threat actors looking to steal your data, or use your resources for crypto mining. Foreign governments aren’t going to stop nation-state attacks any time soon either. It would be nice if they did, however. If a malicious actor can make money and not get caught, then they will. This is why ransomware is all the rave and still a focus. This week at RSA has been another eye-opening event around cybersecurity threats – mainly ransomware.
I’ll get back to ransomware in a minute. But first, my Marketing team has produced a list of buzz words/phrases for me never to say to analysts, customers on roadmap calls, or on solution demos because of the overuse, abuse, and overall hype of these terms. These buzz words/phrases include:
- We have no competition. Seriously – you are the only product in the marketplace that can solve this problem? Sorry, doubt it.
- Future proof. If your technology runs on an operating system – any type – it is not future proof. It will be EOL one day, including the hardware you are running on.
- Interoperability. If your technology does not integrate with anyone, then your product should not be on the market yet.
- Dissolvable agent. Code that runs temporary and removes itself still must be delivered, executed, consumes resources, and be removed. Disk space is cheap. So, who cares if it is dissolvable or temporary?
- Lightweight agent. Of course, it is lightweight. No one ever has heavy footprint agents.
- Digital transformation. Overused. I hope I never hear this again after RSA.
- Taking it to the next level. Really? What video games have you been playing lately?
- Ecosystem. I have been hearing this word for the last 15 years. This is like having a flip phone or a PDA integrated into your cell phone running PalmOS.
- Hacker proof. Cute. No such thing.
- Zero-day proof. Ditto.
- Best-of-breed. Of course, everyone’s technology is better compared to their previous release and some competitor out there. The only time this was not true was Windows Vista.
- Machine learning. More algorithms that process similar data sets. Sigh.
- Artificial Intelligence. Skynet?
And now we must add, “We protect against ransomware” to the list. The volume of conversations that included these words, or derivations was mind-boggling. I have become numb to the other buzz words, but the next time I hear someone say they have a solution to prevent ransomware I think I may have to explain that the reasons you got infected included poor basic cybersecurity management for vulnerabilities, patch, and privileges – including education and device hardening.
To prospects and other vendors, the only reason you are looking to buy or sell a ransomware prevention solution is that you do not even patch your workstations in a timely fashion, and still have end users running as administrators. Please stop and think. If you do the basics well, there is no need to purchase another tool to solve these problems.
You can prevent ransomware and other threats by just managing the basics and not license yet another security tool. BeyondTrust’s PowerBroker privileged access management solution and Retina enterprise vulnerability management can help you achieve your goals for a safe computing environment and not add more buzz words into your security solution vocabulary.
Morey J. Haber, Chief Security Officer, BeyondTrust
Morey J. Haber is the Chief Security Officer at BeyondTrust. He has more than 25 years of IT industry experience and has authored three books: Privileged Attack Vectors, Asset Attack Vectors, and Identity Attack Vectors. He is a founding member of the industry group Transparency in Cyber, and in 2020 was elected to the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) Executive Advisory Board. Morey currently oversees BeyondTrust security and governance for corporate and cloud based solutions and regularly consults for global periodicals and media. He originally joined BeyondTrust in 2012 as a part of the eEye Digital Security acquisition where he served as a Product Owner and Solutions Engineer since 2004. Prior to eEye, he was Beta Development Manager for Computer Associates, Inc. He began his career as Reliability and Maintainability Engineer for a government contractor building flight and training simulators. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.