Last week, the malware Petya infected computers worldwide in a cyberattack, including the diversified Danish giant Maersk, owners of the largest shipping line in the world. In addition to several other industries, Maersk also owns the global terminal operator APM Terminals, and they were affected by Petya as well.
In an update issued to customers yesterday, the company has indicated their progress back to being fully operational, although not all global systems are 100% online. If this could happen to Maersk with a well-planned network and IT security, it can happen to any company.
It used to be that the primary concern for IT departments was a benign virus that would infect a computer, wipe a hard drive or cause some sort of prank or practical joke. Those days are long past, as both criminal and state actors put out viruses and malware that are meant to hijack data and require financial compensation to unlock in an untraceable currency like Bitcoin.
Today’s data is of far more competitive value, and systems administrators need to take great pains to ensure this data isn’t being exfiltrated.
Where all of these things used to be the province of movie plots, today they are real risks and stories in the world of corporate espionage. No company should feel bulletproof, but should instead assume themselves paranoid as a good business practice.
Everglory would like to offer three pieces of advice for cybersecurity for our customers to ensure a continuity of supply chain operations and recovery in the event of an incident.
In today’s world, not everything is preventable. “Zero-day exploits” are holes in systems that governments or malicious hackers will use to take control of a system. But the majority of threats can be minimized by ensuring that servers, computers and mobile devices are all running the latest versions of their operating systems, including ensuring a steady routine of security patch downloads and installations.
There are a number of ways to isolate exposure to foreign viruses, trojans, malware and other nefarious things. Computers taken to certain at-risk countries should always be quarantined from business networks until they’ve been wiped clean – which means maybe have a “travel” computer for executives that contains the minimum amount of data and software. We also suggest installing VPN software that provides an encrypted tunnel to another country for data to pass in and out.
Our offices, clients and vendors in hurricane or typhoon prone areas have plans if a storm is headed their way and requires them to close their office and evacuate. Companies should ask if a redundant copy of their network or storage is available in another location or if their insurance policy covers the costs of recovering from a cyber attack or being knocked offline by one somewhere through their network.