Ransomware attacks are one of the most dangerous cybercriminal threats that companies face – a successful ransomware compromise can bring a business to a complete stop, and in some cases, can shutter it permanently.
It is no exaggeration to call ransomware an existential threat. Ransomware is also lucrative for cyber criminals who have developed the attacks into a business model that leverages a repeat player advantage for the attacker. After several years of seeing fairly similar patterns of ransomware attacks, we are seeing tactics evolving to make the crime more likely to be successful and to mine more potential sources of revenue from a victim company.
The current situation is no different. To the contrary, in March 2020, ransomware attacks increased 148% over the baseline of February 2020, as remote work increased by 70%, according to VMWare Carbon Black threat researchers.
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Guillermo Christensen is a partner in the DC and NY offices of Ice Miller LLP and practices in the Government Investigations and Data Security-Privacy groups. He counsels clients on information security and enterprise-level cybersecurity risks, working on “left of boom” matters (pre-incident risk assessments) and “right of boom” situations (breaches), in particular nation-state attacks. Mr. Christensen is a former CIA intelligence officer and a diplomat with the Department of State with multiple international tours and domestic assignments including with the FBI and the predecessor to the National Counterterrorism Center. Most recently, Mr. Christensen served as the Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the OECD in Paris, France, where he was responsible for cybersecurity, internet governance, cross-border data flows, and intellectual property rights. From 2001-2002, Mr. Christensen was the CIA Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He currently serves on the international advisory board of the Reeves Center at the College of William and Mary, the Law360 Cybersecurity Editorial Board, is a member of the RANE Network, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Christensen holds a BA from The American University, a Master of Science in Foreign Service and a law degree from Georgetown University. He is licensed to practice in New York, Virginia and Washington DC.
Rachel Spiker is an associate in Ice Miller’s Litigation and Data Security and Privacy Practice Groups. Rachel holds a Certified Information Privacy Professional U.S. Private-Sector certification (CIPP/US) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Rachel regularly assists in the response to significant data security incidents, which includes analysis of data breach notification laws in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Rachel’s work also includes proactive privacy and cybersecurity projects, such as creating privacy programs and counseling clients on compliance with various domestic and international privacy and cybersecurity statutes and regulations.