Software Company Declares Ransomware Emergency; Calls For Government Action

Emsisoft, an internationally-acclaimed security software company has released its latest cybersecurity report ahead of time, declaring a ransomware crisis that will continue to plague organisations and individuals alike unless further action is taken.

The company based in New Zealand has actually pushed forward the release date of its report by three weeks in an attempt to curb the current rate of attacks. The report, which can be accessed here analysed attacks in the United States and shows that in a single year, 948 government agencies, healthcare providers and universities had been hit by ransomware attacks.

Emsisoft puts the cost of these attacks and their subsequent damage costs at more than $7.5 billion.

Amongst its findings, Emsisoft researchers said in the report that “we believe this development elevates the ransomware threat to crisis levels and that governments must act immediately to improve their security and mitigate risks. If they do not, it is likely that similar incidents will also result in extremely sensitive information which governments hold being stolen and leaked.”

“This report was originally scheduled to be published on January 1st, 2020. We have, however, decided to release it immediately due to a recent incident in which a ransomware attack may have resulted in municipal government’s data falling into the hands of cyber-criminals.”

Researchers at the cybersecurity company have also cited data showing that, despite being legally compelled, many organisations and even government institutions are failing when it comes to implementing even basic and well-established cybersecurity steps to ensure the integrity of the data they’re housing.

According to Info Security Magazine, “Emsisoft researchers have called for improved security standards and oversight, more guidance, better public-private sector cooperation and the implementation of legislative restrictions on ransomware payments. They have also urged vendors and service providers to innovate and collaborate to win the ongoing fight against ransomware.”

Fabian Wosa, Emsisoft’s CTO says that “the fact that there were no confirmed ransomware-related deaths in 2019 is simply due to good luck, and that luck may not continue into 2020. Governments and the health and education sectors must do better,” he said.

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