“We’ve been compromised.” Dreaded words. Fifteen years ago this phrase might have meant a virus or worm infiltrated the network. Today, it could be mission critical. In the case of Colonial Pipeline’s 2021 ransomware attack, one user’s VPN remote-access login credentials were stolen (from a defunct username, no less) and the result became international news. Spiked fuel prices, panic buying, and the ransom demand of 4.4 million dollars in untraceable cryptocurrency.
In the end, Colonial had little choice but to pay the ransom. By then, the damage had been done. They achieved household-name-status for the worst possible reasons. Security breaches imply something along the road to incompetence; who wants to do business with a firm they perceive to be less than protected?
The Colonial Pipeline story garnered national attention because of the implications for 50 million Americans, but these attacks are not limited to large, for-profit enterprises. Prior to the pandemic shutdowns of last year, several school systems in Louisiana were hacked and locked, forcing the governor to make a statewide declaration of emergency. The National Guard was summoned for cybersecurity assistance, and the months-long investigation to follow.
According to experts, there are 4000 malware attacks every single day. Since the pandemic lockdowns, malicious emails have increased by 600%. The average cyberattack ransom fee has gone from $5000 in 2018 up to $200,000 in 2021. Not long after the Colonial Pipeline story, an American insurance firm set the new record for the largest ransomware payout to date: CNA Financial paid hackers $40 million. The FBI currently advises against paying, though companies like CNA Financial and Colonial typically feel they have little choice.
Custom-built software solutions can be crafted in such a way that eliminates back door entrances and vulnerabilities. When Antares designs systems for their clients, each login goes through rigorous checks of authentication, credential authorization, and identity management.
Antares has been working in industries that require top-of-the-line security approaches for 33 years. Our clients are in sectors like healthcare, government, energy, and education. The cloud-based applications we create are designed to be bulletproof and free from the holes that plague outdated or well-known systems. Our staff of developers stays on top of the latest tricks of the trade so that each client can stay focused on their business, free from the anxiety that comes along with using outdated modes known to be susceptible and targeted by outside forces.
When Antares designs software for their clients, we pay special attention to where the software will exist. Today, this means choosing reputable partners for cloud-hosting options.
In their 2021 report, the research firm Forrester rated 11 different vendors of unstructured data platforms on their security. Each entity was scored on numerous scales, such as data threats, access control, deletion, manageability / support, and security / risk. Far and away, Google Cloud was top-rated and the leader across the field. Slightly behind them was Microsoft Azure, which interestingly was the only vendor to outperform Google for their strategy rating. The research offers confirmation; all of the recent projects Antares has worked with run on Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure. We will be paying close attention to these options with time; as technologies change, security tactics evolve and sands shift.
As the old adage says, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Technology changes at breakneck speed, and links in your chain can become glaring weaknesses practically overnight. Build a strong chain. Let Antares help you craft a system that keeps your enterprise free from the latest threats in malware and ransomware.