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Cyber crime is costing businesses worldwide between $4-8 trillion annually and has the potential to grow twenty-fold over the next few years according to Acronis CEO and founder Serguei “SB” Beloussov speaking at the Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2020. The Summit attracted more than 9,500 professionals from around the world to discuss the latest strategies and technological advances in the field of cyber protection.

Offered as a free virtual event from October 19-21, this year’s Summit featured more than 150 thought leaders, cybersecurity experts, channel professionals, industry executives, and sports stars who led 60 sessions. The 2020 Summit’s entire program will soon be publicly available for free until December 20 via an on-demand video stream. All recordings will be available starting October 22.

Beloussov cited numerous cases of ransomware attacks:

  • Software AG was hit by a ransomware gang in October 2020 demanding $20 million where the criminals started leaking passports, emails and financials to the public.
  • San Rafaeie Hospital in Italy had personal data of patients and doctors stolen, and in France CMA CGM, the shipping company, shut down its website and shipping applications due to a ransomware attack.
  • AJG in the US, a global Fortune 500 insurance broker, went offline after 22 ransomware groups compromised its data, and in Argentina, Border Control experienced a ransomware attack that crippled border crossings. The attackers demanded $4 million not to publish the data.

The just-released Acronis Cyber Readiness Report surveyed 13,400 global companies and remote workers in 17 countries including South Africa in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Serguei explained that almost 80% of organisations use more than 50 different cyber security tools, and 37% use more than 100.

“Today’s challenges of remote work, IT demands, and cyberthreats have driven tremendous interest in the solutions and opportunities that comprehensive cyber protection delivers – both to businesses and the service providers who support them,” said Serguei.

While many organizations entered 2020 with no plans to migrate to cloud-based solutions or enabling remote work for their staff, the COVID-19 response made those moves mandatory. As a result, a common theme that ran throughout the Summit was how the recent changes driven by the global pandemic will impact the future of IT and cybersecurity.

Acronis Cyber Protection Operating Centers (CPOCs) found that 35% of customer endpoints were exposed to malware attacks that were still getting through prior to the deployment of Acronis Cyber Protect. The Acronis report reveals that hackers targeting remote workers, phishing, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and videoconferencing attacks are the most common. 39% of companies have encountered videoconferencing attacks as workers rely on apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Microsoft Teams.

Cisco recently revealed a vulnerability in its Webex app that could allow attackers to open, read and steal potentially valuable or damaging content. “Acronis Cyber Protect prevented code execution exploits in Webex before it was patched by Cisco,” Beloussov said. He said that Acronis Cyber Protect replaces the multitude of solutions that businesses are currently using into a single solution. Currently the product is preventing an estimated $150 million in direct losses for customers each year.

Candid Wüest, Vice President of Cyber Protection Research at Acronis, cautioned IT teams and service providers should “make no mistake. Attackers already know where the interesting data is and they are prepared to strike into the cloud and strike into those new services.” As a result cybersecurity, data protection, and endpoint protection management capabilities need to be integrated to deliver the security needed in this new digital world.

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