Forrester: Expect POS Ransomware Outages in 2018

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Cyber-criminals will up their game in 2018 to drive profits, targeting IoT systems and installing ransomware on mission critical POS systems, according to Forrester Research.

The analyst house claimed in its Predictions 2018 report for cybersecurity that attackers will look to ransomware to generate profits from POS as the EMV standard and end-to-end encryption systems take hold, making it virtually impossible to scrape card data.

“Work with your incident responders and disaster recovery teams to ensure you understand and have tested your ability to recover systems and data in the event of a ransomware attack,” the analyst argued. “Paying the ransom is not an option you want to take, as there is no guarantee you can trust the cyber-criminal to release your systems and data; you also mark yourself as an easy target for a future attack.”

The report also warned that financially motivated hackers will aim to launch ransomware and data-stealing attacks at IoT systems, as well as looking to compromise them to launch DDoS.

Forrester warned that organizations have been slow to react to systemic problems raised by Mirai, with time-to-market still trumping security too often.

Security professionals should focus their efforts on plugging the gaps exposed by default passwords, weak encryption implementations and inadequate patching/remediation capabilities.

There was also mention of the forthcoming EU GDPR, with Forrester warning that firms which try to hunt insider threats too aggressively could end up being sued by employees.

Firms must remember that employee data is personal data and therefore covered by the GDPR — so a fine balancing act is required to protect employee privacy whilst minimizing the risk of insider-related breaches.

“Document what you monitor, how, why — and be sure to inform employees about monitoring,” the report advised. “Ask your tech vendor if there are capabilities in the product to address employee privacy requirements and prevent privacy abuse. Also assess the capabilities these tools have against tampering; question how you can trust the integrity of its alerts.”

The report also claimed the 2018 US midterm elections could be another major opportunity for hackers to disrupt, and will provide a clear indication of how resilient the US voting system is.

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