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December 12, 2017updated 14 Dec 2017 4:37pm

Have we learnt nothing from WannaCry?

WannaCry was among the most high profile global cyberattacks of all time, causing major damage to services like the NHS in the UK.

By Tom Ball

WannaCry and NotPetya should have forced business leaders to focus on cybersecurity, but only 16 per cent of IT security professionals think their role is now valued more highly.

In line with this belief, just 14 per cent of the IT security professionals surveyed said that their budgets have been increased as a reaction to the major attacks of 2017.

The survey conducted by AlienVault also reveals that only 20 per cent of the professionals surveyed said that they had been able to complete projects previously put on hold.

Have we learnt nothing from WannaCry?Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault, explained: “WannaCry and NotPetya are generally believed to have marked a turning point in cyber awareness, but the reality on the ground paints a different picture. Destructive malware poses existential threats to companies across all industries and can no longer be ignored. To improve our cyber resilience, corporate strategy needs to be developed that covers how to plan for, detect, mitigate and recover from such destructive attacks.”

These findings are made all the more worrying in light of GDPR and its fast approaching arrival in May 2018. Now less than 6 months away, firms that fail to comply with the regulation will face a potentially crippling fine.

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“Working life has become much more difficult for many IT professionals in the wake of these attacks. But the preventative measures that many are engaged in, such as patching and security reviews, points towards a panicked reaction from management tiers. Given the unpredictable nature of today’s security environment, organizations should focus their efforts on detection and response” Malik said.

The WannaCry ransomware caused massive disruption to the NHS in the UK, forcing organisation processes to be reduced to pen and paper. Thousands of operations and other important, scheduled procedures had to be rearranged, and life was potentially endangered by the global attack.

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