Ransomware insights with Andrzej Kawalec, Vodafone’s Gobal Head of Cybersecurity

Increased digital dependency means that ransomware is the next global pandemic, and this time there is no vaccine that can act as a silver bullet to prevent it. The last twelve months have witnessed an explosion of ransomware incidents across the world.

These incidents have also started to have real life consequences, with the attacks on both the Colonial Pipeline and Ireland’s Health Service Executive highlighting that ransomware can impact the public’s everyday life.

As society becomes more reliant upon technology and digital systems, driven by the pandemic and the advent of remote working, Andrzej Kawalec Head of Security at Vodafone Business, believes ransomware is set to become the next global pandemic.

Much like the COVID-19 pandemic, ransomware is a global problem, and we even see different variants of ransom across the world. The nature of modern cybercrime means that these attacks are now targeted, with cybercriminals undertaking research to understand exactly how much money to demand as ransom.

In the future, Andrzej believes we will see misinformation used as a ransom. With an individual or organisation’s brand more important than ever, cybercriminals will look to hijack social media profiles in exchange for a ransom payment. This is the future of extortion.

Ronan talks to Andrzej about this and why the focus should be to minimise the impact of an attack and ensure that those businesses that are hit are able to survive without too much damage.

More about Andrzej Kawalec:

Andrzej Kawalec is the Head of Security Portfolio at Vodafone Business. Andrzej manages Vodafone Business’ global portfolio of security offerings.  He is widely recognised for his expertise in cyber security and digital change. A former CTO himself, he has a vast amount of experience working at the board-level across public and private sectors, helping to define and promote cyber security strategy.

He believes that Security is the enabling layer for innovation. From autonomous driving to digital healthcare, the technologies and societies of the future will not reach their full potential without secure digital foundations. Prior to joining Vodafone, Andrzej was Global CTO for security and Director of Security Research at HP, as well as head of Strategy and CTO at Optiv the world’s largest security Systems integrator.

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