This week’s WannaCry ransomware attack achieved unprecedented scale, infecting more than 230k computers across 150 countries. The virus hit car factories, hospitals, and even the U.K.’s National Health Service, with many employees forced to pay a ransom in bitcoin.
WannaCry leverages NSA (National Security Agency) malware that had been leaked just two months prior, illustrating the increased ability for hackers to move quickly on seemingly minimal resources. Further illustrating the point this week, Docusign confirmed that hackers had breached a customer email address database and sent phishing emails to a broad group of users.
The recent events demonstrate a sobering fact – as organizations have become increasingly tech-enabled, the “attack perimeter” for hackers has expanded. As a result, it is much easier for hackers to play offense than it is for organizations to play defense.
The only feasible solution is for innovators to re-think how we communicate and transact more securely. With tools such as blockchain, advanced encryption, two-factor authorization, and cyber-insurance, startups will need to find elegant and low-friction ways for large enterprises to improve their security.
Africa has to evolve its cybersecurity insurance sub-sector to manage the risks associated with digital business. Corporations have to be prepared to use insurance to mitigate risk as technology is proving not to have the capabilities to comprehensibly secure and protect us from cyber-attacks.
Updated: This post has been updated, after a representative of Docusign reached out to Tekedia, to indicate that the breach affected database of customer email addresses only, and not customer database.