The ransomware attack on foreign currency exchange specialist Travelex is just the beginning, as experts at CyberCube believe that ransomware activity will continue to increase.
The experts said the recent Travelex attack was part of a continued expansion of ransomware trends – warning businesses to prepare for attacks so widespread they could stifle economic growth in the short term.
“What’s happened to Travelex is part of a rapidly growing trend. Ransomware has become more than a cottage industry with ransomware developers and hackers teaming up to attack companies and then divide the spoils. There are also so-called ‘big game hunters’ who work alone and target firms able to pay large ransoms,” Nick Beecroft, client services manager at CyberCube, explained.
Beecroft predicted that ransomware attacks will soon reach the point at which a major attack could cripple businesses across the world, which would result in complete systematic failure.
“The insurance industry, which offers protection to businesses like Travelex, is already planning for this type of event,” he said. “At CyberCube, we’re building the complex models that allow insurers and other organisations to examine what the effect of a catastrophic ransomware attack would be.”
Alejandro Sauter, cyber risk analyst at CyberCube, added: “The threat of ransomware has become significantly focused in the cybersecurity and cyber insurance worlds since the WannaCry attack in 2017. While ransomware has been around for much longer, key changes in the past few years have truly boosted its growth in use by cybercriminals, whose interest in using this type of malware primarily lies in the speed and ease of monetisation.”