The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales (WCRC) predicts businesses across Wales will come under increasing threat from ransomware attacks as cybercriminals continue with this lucrative business model, and attacks becoming more sophisticated.
Detective Superintendent and Director of the WCRC Paul Peters, said: “This is a danger we have seen continue to grow over the course of 2021. Falling victim to this type of malicious software prevents businesses accessing their data, which can be crippling. But cybercriminals are also stealing data before encrypting, then threatening to release it giving them greater leverage when demanding payment of a ransom.”
The WCRC was set up in April this year as part of a network of centres across the UK to provide businesses and organisations with an affordable way to access cyber security services and guidance through membership to help protect themselves from attack. Since it launched more and more SMEs in the region are recognising the importance of being cyber resilient, with the centre recently passing the 200th-member mark.
“I’m really pleased with the progress we are making but, in particular, the number of businesses we have managed to engage with. We have been focusing on SMEs, micro businesses and the third sector, and over three quarters of our members fall into these categories. Yet we can’t rest on our laurels, as there are many organisations out there that are leaving themselves vulnerable and our goal is to help them to protect themselves,” Paul continues.
“Although ransomware is the biggest threat, phishing is another risk and here at the centre we are hearing more and more reports of these types of emails becoming increasingly sophisticated. They appear to be more genuine and so more difficult to identify. Phishing emails are often the method used for delivering ransomware and other malware, but also can lead to business email compromise or other types of fraud.