Webinar presenter Stacey Wright answered a number of your questions after her presentation, 2019 Cyber Cases in Review. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: What can we in law enforcement and other governmental professions be doing to make sure our elections are secure? Or is there anything we can be doing?
Stacey Wright: Absolutely, there’s things you can be doing. So as we go into 2020, better recommendations will come out and I am not an expert on election security. I would tell you right from the getgo though, know where your elections offices are, where do people go and vote? Seems like a really insignificant thing. But if you can ramp up patrols, take priority calls whenever there is going to be an incident at an election site, not just the day of the election, but even a couple of days beforehand. That will help. Part of what securing the elections is about, it’s about perspective, is about making sure that folks understand that the elections really are secure. Things happen, yes, but it really is about making sure people are confident that their vote will be counted, and that they can go to the polls. So anything you can do to help gain citizens that confidence will make a huge difference for the election.
Audience Question: Regarding the ransomware, is there any pattern the characteristics or type of organization that ransomware is being targeted at?
Stacey Wright: Throughout 2019, we saw a lot of state and local governments get hit. We also saw hospitals get hit. With that slide I showed with the news story headlines, that changed a bit. What we’re seeing now is that broader environment where they’re going after folks who can then infect others. I can’t say that’s a full-on trend yet, but it’s definitely something that seems to be a developing trend. So, I would tell you, if you’re state or local government, you’re at risk, if you’re a healthcare provider, you’re probably at risk. And if you were using a third-party vendor as a trusted platform, that again increases your risk.
Audience Question: Does cyber insurance require some sort of regular audit to obtain and retain coverage?
Stacey Wright: You’re right, I am not a cyber insurance expert. What I will tell you is that my understanding from talking with a few people in the industry is, some of them do, some of them do not. However, if you have an incident, and then can’t show that you were using best practices, they may not insure you later on. So it’s just like other insurance if you have homeowner’s insurance and you’re robbed. And well, yeah, you left your door open and all the windows open, then they may not be so willing to insure you the second time.
Audience Question: Does moving critical applications to a cloud-based environment tend to have lower or increase risk?
Stacey Wright: That one is an agency-specific question, I guess. It has a lot to do with your risk profile within your agency and how strong your security is, as to whether it’s an increase or decrease for you, in particular, I can tell you we are seeing more targeting of cloud environments. We definitely see a lot of people moving to cloud environments as well. And I haven’t seen any really authoritative numbers to indicate if the targeting is increasing because the number of people are moving to it or the targeting is truly increasing and as outside of the sheer numbers of folks who are moving. What I will tell you is it’s an interesting risk assessment. If moving to a cloud environment is something you’re considering. That means you’re transferring your risk to that cloud provider. Most of the cloud providers are the very large companies, you can probably think of a few names that I’m not going to say. Those cloud providers have great security. But in doing so, you are also opening up your system, because now your network has to reach to the cloud, which means going through the internet to access all of that information. So it may be a better move for your particular organization. A lot of cases, if it’s a small organization, it seems to be a better move. But if you just may not have the security staff to do security at the level of these major cloud providers can provide. But there are other considerations you had to keep in mind as you make that decision.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of 2019 Cyber Cases in Review.