Just hearing the word ransomware can send shivers up our spine, or be in denial that it would ever happen to us. Either way, the harsh reality is that ransomware will not go away anytime soon. On the contrary, as we continue to embrace digitization of our economies and societies, as security conflicts keep perpetuating cyber warfare and cripple critical infrastructure networks around the globe the gap between awareness and preparedness must be bridged.

Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015. This represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, is exponentially larger than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. Source

The consequences of ransomware can be devastating in business disruption, financial loss, litigation, and liability due to lack of due diligence.

But what about the human cost? How do we begin to protect ourselves and build human resilience?

“Forty-eight percent of people will exchange their password for a piece of chocolate, 91 percent of cyberattacks begin with a simple phish, and two out of three people have experienced a tech support scam in the past 12 months. What do all of these have in common? They use social engineering: when an attacker preys on our human nature to defraud. Also in common, these small, very human actions have led to billions of dollars of loss to global business.” Microsoft Source. 

These 15 case studies of the global greatest social engineering hacks will help you understand how principles of persuasion, deception and scamming continue to increase the human surface attack. Principles of persuasion are used to get a foot into your organizational networks. The four stages of ransomware attacks all have a human factor, cannot be ignored.

In terms of securing the user environment when remote working and reducing the risk of shadow IT, awareness campaigns on how to manage the Wi-Fi security settings, recommendations for family use of shared devices. Social engineering also target family members by gaining information or creating spoofed accounts to increase success rate in installing malware or executing spear phishing attacks for preparing the ground for ransomware. Building an organizational culture and creating a psychological safe culture where employees can share any concerns, fears or questions early on without feeling judged is no longer a nice to have but of essence. Shame culture is your biggest roadblock to building a healthy security posture.

Last Sunday 6th March at 7 pm Brussels CET where I will break down human resilience strategies to help you build emotional firewalls against ransomware attacks.

I covered the building blocks of the ransomware stages, how ransomware is enabled through social engineering techniques and why humanizing ransomware resilience is at the heart of  managing business at a time when cyber crime is soaring. 


01:33  Introduction Humanizing Ransomware Resilience 

03:13  What’s in Store Today 

05:35  Principles of Persuasion in Social Engineering and Their Use in Phishing

10:11 – Real life Case Studies of Social Engineering Hacks 

15:27   Ransomware Stages 

18:38   Empathy maps to humanize ransomware resilience 

28:11   Your Roadmap to Human Resilience 

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