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Over 68% of Manufacturers Hit by Ransomware Had Their Data Encrypted – Sophos Survey Reveals

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Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, has announced a new sectoral survey report, “The State of Ransomware in Manufacturing and Production 2023,” which found that in more than two-thirds (68%) of ransomware attacks against this sector, the adversaries successfully encrypted data.

This is the highest reported encryption rate for the sector over the past three years and is in line with a broader cross-sector trend of attackers more frequently succeeding in encrypting data.

However, in contrast to other sectors, the percentage of manufacturing organizations that used backups to recover data has increased, with 73% of the manufacturing organizations surveyed using backups this year versus 58% in the previous year. Despite this increase, the sector still has one of the lowest data recovery rates.

“Using backups as a primary recovery mechanism is encouraging, since the use of backups promotes a faster recovery.

“While ransom payments cannot always be avoided, we know from our survey response data that paying a ransom doubles the costs of recovery,” said John Shier, field CTO, Sophos. “With 77% of manufacturing organizations reporting lost revenue after a ransomware attack, this added cost burden should be avoided, and priority placed on earlier detection and response.”

In addition, despite the growing use of backups, manufacturing and production reported longer recovery times this year. In 2022, 67% of manufacturing organizations recovered within a week, while 33% recovered in more than a week. This past year, only 55% of manufacturing organizations surveyed recovered within a week.

“Longer recovery times in manufacturing are a concerning development. As we’ve seen in Sophos’ Active Adversary reports, based on incident response cases, the manufacturing sector is consistently at the top of organizations needing assistance recovering from attacks.

“This extended recovery is negatively impacting IT teams, where 69% report that addressing security incidents is consuming too much time and 66% are unable to work on other projects.”

Sophos provides a look at a large-scale ransomware attack against a manufacturing company in its newly released three-part “Think You Know Ransomware?” documentary series.

In episode 2, Sophos interviews the chief information security officer of Norsk Hydro, a major aluminum production company, to learn about the aftermath and investigation of the attack against the company.

Sophos experts recommend the following best practices for organizations in manufacturing and across all other sectors:

·         Strengthen defensive shields with:

o   Security tools that defend against the most common attack vectors, including endpoint protection with strong anti-exploit capabilities to prevent exploitation of vulnerabilities, and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) to thwart the abuse of compromised credentials

o   Adaptive technologies that respond automatically to attacks, disrupting adversaries and buying defenders time to respond

o   24/7 threat detection, investigation and response, whether delivered in-house or by a specialist Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provider

·         Optimize attack preparation, including making regular backups, practicing recovering data from backups and maintaining an up-to-date incident response plan

·         Maintain good security hygiene, including timely patching and regularly reviewing security tool configurations

To learn more about the State of Ransomware in Manufacturing and Production, download the full report from Sophos.com.

The State of Ransomware 2023 survey polled 3,000 IT/cybersecurity leaders in organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees, including 363 organizations in manufacturing and production, across 14 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.


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E-Financial

Crypto Exchanges Begin Delisting Naira from P2P Platforms- SEC

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Crypto exchanges have commenced delisting of the Naira from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading platforms, following directives of the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Crypto Exchanges Begin Delisting Naira from P2P Platforms- SEC

P2P trading in the realm of cryptos is a decentralized method that allows individuals to buy and sell digital assets directly with one another.

In this system, P2P trading platforms serve as intermediaries, facilitating secure and trust-based transactions.

SEC explained that its checks have indicated that the Naira has been removed as a fiat currency option for transactions on KuCoin platform and the exchange has already begun the necessary adjustments to its technology to accommodate the delisting of the Naira as soon as practicable.

It explained that the removal of the Naira from the platforms limits the ability to manipulate the exchange rates against the Nigerian currency which is expected to further strengthen the value of the naira.

Dr. Emomotimi Agama, acting director general of SEC, reacting to the delisting by KuCoin, expressed delight that the crypto exchanges were heeding the directives of ONSA and SEC, describing it as a welcome development.

He stated: “We are happy that they have started complying with the directives by the ONSA.  We ask that those involved in sharp practices that undermine national interest should cease and desist. It is in our interest as a people to protect what belongs to us.  Anyone that disobeys directives should be ready to face the full weight of the law”.

Agama added that as the apex regulator of the capital market, “SEC is co-operating  with the Office of the National Security Adviser, the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies to achieve the national objective of making sure that illegality is not allowed to thrive”.

 

 

 


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E-Financial

Court Backs Banks to Collect Customers’ Social Media Handles

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A federal high court in Lagos has struck out a case against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over its directive requiring banks to collect and verify social media handles as part of their know-your-customer (KYC) requirement.

Court Backs Banks to Collect Customers’ Social Media Handles

In June 2023, the apex bank issued the directive, saying the aim is to prevent financial crime, and terrorism, as well as boost the precision and thoroughness of customer identification.

Chris Eke, the applicant and a customer, represented by Olubunmi Abayomi-Olukunle, a lawyer, had filed suit number FHC/L/CS/1281/2023 in July 2023, arguing the CBN’s directive infringed upon constitutional rights, particularly section 37 of the 1999 constitution.

Nnamdi Dimgba, presiding judge, struck out the suit filed by Eke, which sought a declaration that the regulation as contained in section 6(a)(iv) of the CBN (customer due diligence) Regulations, 2023, is “undemocratic, unconstitutional, null and void”.

The CBN, in its response to the suit, filed a notice of preliminary objection, challenging the competence of the suit and disagreeing with the claim of interference with the applicant’s private life.

In his judgment, Dimgba held that the notice of preliminary objection had merit, subsequently striking out the suit.

The judge ruled that providing a social media handle is equivalent to providing email and phone numbers for potential customers, and therefore, it does not violate the right to privacy.

“First, the applicant claims that the requirements on the CBN regulations for financial institutions to request and collect the social media handle of its customers as part of KYC infringes on his right to privacy,” the judge said.

“This claim is very ambitious and amounts to a very far throw. The said regulations are directed to and apply to financial institutions.  It does not apply to private individuals such as the applicant.

“Even if, as appears to be argued, that the regulations itself would inevitably affect the applicant, this claim is speculative for the simple reason that in nowhere in the affidavit in support was it stated that the applicant operates an account with a financial institution and that the said institution had demanded his social media handle.”

Consequently, the judge said the suggestion that he would be negatively affected by the regulation is very “speculative and at large”.

He said there is a lack of evidence suggesting financial institutions have implemented the regulation, and it is causing disruptions and inconvenience.

Furthermore, Dimgba said if the applicant is “irritated by the requirement of the regulation”, he has a choice to “refuse to do business with any bank insisting on the information as part of its social media handle, but to seek other alternatives”.

PROVISION OF SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES TO BANKS DO NOT TRANSLATE TO BREACH’

Dimgba said banks asking customers or potential clients to provide their social media handles is not a breach of privacy.

He said the essence of having a social media account was for one to be publicly visible communication-wise.

According to the judge, a social media handle, being in the public space, can be accessed by everyone whether or not consent was obtained.

As a result, he said it would be unreasonable to hold the respondent in breach of privacy.

“The apprehension of the Applicant of his social interactions being monitored is manifestly speculative in itself and rather incredulous to believe that the financial institutions have the luxury of time to concern itself with such frivolities,” the judge said.

 

 


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CBN Grants Approval to 14 New IMTOs  to Spur Liquidity

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it has granted 14 new International Money Transfer Operators, IMTOs Approval-in-Principle (AIP) to double foreign-currency remittance inflows through formal channels amid foreign currency crisis.

CBN Grants Approval to 14 New IMTOs  to Spur Liquidity

Hakama Sidi Ali, acting director of Corporate Communications, CBN, disclosed this in a statement that the he initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs, lowering the cost of remittance transactions and boosting financial inclusion.

CBN’s thinking is that increasing formal remittance flows, which are one of the major sources of foreign exchange and account for over 6 per cent of gross domestic product, would help ease the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira,” Olayemi Cardoso, the CBN Governor, recently disclosed the apex bank’s target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, which he firmly believed was possible.

On Wednesday, the Naira recorded its first N61 gain against the dollar at the foreign exchange market for the first time after weeks of decline.

 

 


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