Companies ‘Just Disappear’
Ransomware can destroy a company overnight, he said. While Colonial Pipeline had the money and resources to be back up and running in a few days, many other businesses aren’t, and won’t be, that lucky.
“I‘ve had more horrifying, tearful conversations with people who’ve lost everything,” McDonald said. “Most small organizations don’t really have a chance if they get hit by one of these sophisticated actors and they can’t pay. Threat actors have gotten much more sophisticated and much more aggressive in their demands. Even if you hire a good negotiator to negotiate with threat actors, you’re generally still settling for around a third [of the initial demand].
“Nothing disgusts me more than somebody who‘s stealing what someone has spent their whole life working for and they’re taking it from them out of an opportunistic perspective,” the CISO added. “It’s just absolutely gross and I have very little tolerance for it.”