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Organizations Are Never The Same After Being Hit By Ransomware – Report

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Sophos, a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity, has announced the findings of its global survey, “Cybersecurity: The Human Challenge”, which reveals that organizations are never the same after being hit by ransomware.

In particular, the confidence of IT managers and their approach to battling cyberattacks differ significantly depending on whether or not their organization has been attacked by ransomware.

In the report, outsourcing IT security is already the norm, with 65% doing it in some capacity: 43% use a combination of in-house and outsourcing while 22% wholly outsource their IT security. The survey revealed regional variations. 

Top of the outsourcing list are China (76%), the UAE (74%), and Malaysia and Singapore (both 73%) where around three quarters of respondents already include outsourcing in their IT security delivery. 

However, at the other end of the scale, in Belgium (52%), France (54%) and Nigeria (54%) just over half of respondents are currently using third party security providers.

The global trend is for outsourcing to increase over the next two years, from the current 65% to almost three quarters (72%) in 2022. 

The biggest change will be in the percentage of organizations that exclusively use in-house staffing: this is set to drop from 34% to 26%. There will be increases both in the percentage that fully outsource their IT security and in those that use a combination of in-house and outsourced expertise

Flip back to part on ransomware, the report shows that IT managers at organizations hit by ransomware are nearly three times as likely to feel “significantly behind” when it comes to understanding cyberthreats, compared to their peers in organizations that were unaffected (17% versus 6%). 

More than one third (35%) of ransomware victims said that recruiting and retaining skilled IT security professionals was their single biggest challenge when it comes to cybersecurity, compared with just 19% of those who hadn’t been hit.  

When it comes to security focus, the survey found that ransomware victims spend proportionally less time on threat prevention (42.6%) and more time on response (27%) compared to those who haven’t been hit (49% and 22% respectively), diverting resources towards dealing with incidents rather than stopping them in the first place. 

“The difference in resource priorities could indicate that ransomware victims have more incidents to deal with overall. However, it could equally indicate that they are more alert to the complex, multi-stage nature of advanced attacks and therefore put greater resource into detecting and responding to the tell-tale signs that an attack is imminent,” said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at Sophos.

The fact that ransomware attackers continue to evolve their tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) contributes to pressure on IT security teams, as evidenced by SophosLabs Uncut’s article, “Inside a New Ryuk Ransomware Attack”. The article deconstructs a recent attack involving Ryuk ransomware. Sophos incident responders found that the Ryuk attackers used updated versions of widely available and legitimate tools to compromise a targeted network and deploy ransomware.

Unusually, the attack progressed at great speed – within three and a half hours of an employee opening a malicious phishing email attachment, the attackers were already actively conducting network reconnaissance. Within 24 hours, the attackers had access to a domain controller and were preparing to launch Ryuk. 

“Our investigation of the recent Ryuk ransomware attack highlights what defenders are up against.  IT security teams need to be on full alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have a full grasp of the latest threat intelligence on attacker tools and behaviors.

The survey findings illustrate clearly the impact of these near-impossible demands. Among other things, those hit by ransomware were found to have severely undermined confidence in their own cyberthreat awareness.

However, their ransomware experiences also appear to have given them a greater appreciation of the importance of skilled cybersecurity professionals, as well as a sense of urgency about introducing human-led threat hunting to better understand and identify the latest attacker behavior,” said Wisniewski. “Whatever the reasons, it is clear that when it comes to security, an organization is never the same again after being hit by ransomware.”

The full report, “Inside a New Ryuk Ransomware Attack”, is available on SophosLabs Uncut, where Sophos researchers regularly publish their latest research and breakthrough findings, such as Maze leveraging Ragnar Locker. Threat researchers can follow SophosLabs Uncut in real time on Twitter at @SophosLabs

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Digital Encode Bags Awards At BoICT 2020

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Digital Encode, a leading consulting and integration firm, has received industry-wide accolades, for the specialties in the design, management and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environment and other IT infrastructures, in Nigeria and indeed Africa.

After receiving massive votes, the team from Digital Encode received standing ovation at the year 2020 Beacon of Information Technology (BoICT) Lecture/Awards held on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at Eko Hotel Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

On a corporate level, Digital Encode was named the Cybersecurity Company of the Decade. Communications Week Media Limited, organisers of the award also disclosed that Digital Encode was voted the Compliance Advisory Company of the Decade.

At Digital Encode, technology serves two purposes: to save money and solve a problem. To this end, the company has been recognized in the industry for its vendor independent perspective and expertise that lies in solving multifaceted, complex enterprise network security and audit problems.

Today, Digital Encode is notable for its effective and successful methodology for achieving compliance to ISO 27001 (IMS); ISO 20000 (ITIL), ISO 22301 (BCM), ISO 9001 (QMS) and several other international compliance standards such as COBIT and PCI DSS compliance.  
The duo – Dr. Obadare and Dr. Akindeinde received (joint) Nigeria CommunicationsWeek Man of the Year award.

Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale is arguably the most “Credentialed” and Multi-Award winning Pan- African Cybersecurity & GRC Thought Leader, He is a Fellow British Computer Society (FBCS), Fellow Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC), Fellow Institute of Information Management (FIIM), Fellow Enterprise Security Risk Management (FESRM), Fellow Institute of Brand Management (FIBM), Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP), The First PECB Certified Data Protection Officer (CDPO) in Nigeria, The First Ec-Council Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) in Africa, First Ec-Council Certified Blockchain in Africa, and Second COBIT 5 Certified Assessor in Africa Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Qualified Security Assessor (PCI DSS QSA).

He is a seasoned cybersecurity Expert and GRC Technopreneur with over 50 (Fifty) international professional certifications to his credit and was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree in Cybersecurity from Trinity International University of Ambassadors Atlanta Georgia, United State of America.

Dr. Oluseyi Akindeinde has 18 years working experience in the IT and Information Security arena, but has spent the better part of the last few years exploring the security issues faced by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and the Financial Transaction Systems (FTS).

He has mostly presented the outcome of his research works at several conferences; including the Information Security Society of Africa Nigeria (ISSAN), the E-Payment Forum, the Electronic Payment Providers Association, the Forum of the Committee of Chief Inspectors of Banks in Nigeria (CCIBN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the apex bank – Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as the senior management of 17 top financial institutions in Nigeria.   

Presenting the awards to the recipients, Former President, Institute of Software Practitioner of Nigeria (ISPON) and the current MD of Mobile Software Solutions, Chris Uwaje, (Oracle), described Digital Encode as a ‘fruitful seed’ that has distinguished itself in the African cybersecurity space.

“I recall that team Dr. Obadare and Dr. Akindeinde are members of the team Nigeria in 2012 CyberLympics. That team conquered Africa and won gold at the global level. They repeated the feat in 2015.

“Today, see how far Digital Encode has gone; they have demonstrated resilience, skills and understanding of that space. I am super-proud of the team. The future is even brighter”, he said.  
The Publisher/Editor In-Chief, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Ken Nwogbo, said that the awards are testaments to Digital Encode’s critical role in the Continent’s cybersecurity space.

He said that the co-founders are well-recognized subject matter experts with numerous successful engagements to their credit in Africa.  
Earlier in his keynote presentation titled: “Cybersecurity and its Critical Role in Nigeria Economy”, Dr. Obadare, said that cybersecurity can take Nigeria out of recession.

According to him, Nigeria needs to engage the digital natives more as IT is, presently, the elephant in the house that cannot be ignored.
“Check Point has predicted that next global crisis will be the Cyber Pandemic. Much is at stake. 

“Thus, Cyber Crime is currently the 3rd biggest economy after U.S. and China as can be deduced from the rising losses which are put at $10.5trillion by 2025; according to Cybersecurity Ventures”, he said.

Obadare, who said that the keyboard is the new knife, stressed that Nigeria’s software industry should be bigger than it is today.

“Therefore, there is a need to build capacity to compete internationally”, he said while thanking Nigeria CommunicationsWeek for the Digital Encode at this year’s BoICT Lecture/Awards.
On his part, Dr Akindeinde, said that while every well-meaning Nigeria must condemn cybercrimes in the strongest of terms, however, the Company is concerned with the need to harvest the talents of our youngsters and transform them to become more productive to the economy and themselves.

“We have just been told that the global market needs 4 million skilled cybersecurity experts. Nigeria can benefit from this big time. So, we feel really honoured by the awards and testimonies shared here today. Our promise is to keep raising the bar”, he added.

Also present at the award include; President, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr, Ikechukwu Nnamani; President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Muhammad Rudman; the President of ISPON was represented by the GMD of Fintrak Software, Mr. Bimbo Abioye, amongst other dignitaries.

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Co-founder of Digital Encode, Dr. Obadare, accepted into Forbes Technology Council

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Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode Limited, who is arguably the most credentialed and Multi-Award winning cybersecurity professional in Africa has been accepted into Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives.

Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Obadare into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Technology Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

As an accepted member of the Council, Dr. Obadare has access to a variety of exclusive opportunities designed to help him reach peak professional influence. 

He will connect and collaborate with other respected local leaders in a private forum. Dr. Obadare will also be invited to work with a professional editorial team to share his expert insights in original business articles on Forbes.com, and to contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

Finally, Dr. Obadare will benefit from exclusive access to vetted business service partners, membership-branded marketing collateral, and the high-touch support of the Forbes Councils member concierge team.

“I am exhilarated to be accepted into Forbes Technology Council,” said Dr. Obadare. It is another confirmation of the Digital Encode’s depth of experience and insights to attain the global vision of being the number one Information Technology Assurance Professional Service firm in Africa,” he concluded.

Background 

Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale is arguably the most “Credentialed” and Multi-Award winning Pan- African Cybersecurity & GRC Thought Leader, He is a Fellow British Computer Society (FBCS), Fellow Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC), Fellow Institute of Information Management (FIIM), Fellow Enterprise Security Risk Management (FESRM), Fellow Institute of Brand Management (FIBM), Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP), The First PECB Certified Data Protection Officer (CDPO) in Nigeria, The First Ec-Council Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) in Africa, First Ec-Council Certified Blockchain in Africa, and Second COBIT 5 Certified Assessor in Africa Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Qualified Security Assessor (PCI DSS QSA).

He is a seasoned cybersecurity Expert and GRC Technopreneur with over 50 (Fifty) international professional certifications to his credit and was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree in Cybersecurity from Trinity International University of Ambassadors Atlanta Georgia, United State of America.

What you should know about Forbes Council 

Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive.

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Digital Encode Wins Cybersecurity Diversity Company of the Year Award

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Digital Encode Limited, a leading consulting and integration firm in Africa, has received the “Cybersecurity Diversity Company of the Year Award” at the inaugural Women in Cybersecurity Awards Africa 2020 (WICA Africa).

A statement sent to Grassroots.ng confirmed that the award was presented to Digital Encode at the first of its kind award to honour cybersecurity professionals in Africa, for its outstanding role in promoting and mentoring women in cybersecurity.

The Company specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

Presenting the award to Digital Encode, Cephas Okoth, the founder and editor, Cyber in Africa, headquartered in Nairobi (Kenya), said, “The award is a means to honour Digital Encode as a company that values and incorporates diversity in their security team.

According to him, other awardees are “women who are making notable differences in the cybersecurity profession, their work and the industry as a whole. Helping African organizations, governments and the society be more digitally safe”.

While receiving the award, the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode, Dr. Peter Adewale Obadare, thanked the organisers, first, for recognising the Company’s efforts in assisting companies to achieve their data protection goals through a well-defined secure process.

He said that Digital Encode has been deliberate in its quest to promote the women-in-cybersecurity industry as 40% of the workforce is made of women who have displayed professionalism and competency.

Dr. Adewale pledged that the Company will continue to translate strategic business objectives into sound, achievable technology solutions for the clients.

Also speaking, the Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Digital Encode, Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, hailed Women in Cybersecurity Awards Africa 2020 (WICA Africa) as the Oscar award for women in cybersecurity on the Continent.

According to him, cybersecurity is a serious business that requires meticulous approach hence women have become beacons in this regard.

“We receive this award with gratitude. It is another testament to Digital Encode believes in experience and insight, that catalyse attainment of unprecedented heights in our pursuit to enabling a safe cyberspace for Nigeria and in extension, Africa.”, he concluded.

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