You don’t have to go far to hear stories about the growing threat of cybersecurity. These stories always come packed with the drama and mystery of a binge-worthy Netflix show.
Shadowy figures living in Eastern Europe, nation-states sponsoring underground criminals, USB drives passing hands in the shadow of a national monument ... throw in a Maserati chase in the mountains and you have the next James Bond film.
It’s comforting to know the fictional targets are almost always a corrupt company or crooked politician and, at the end of the movie, you can go home and rest soundly knowing you’re safe.
The reality is much scarier than fiction. If you haven’t read Andy Greenberg’s recent Wired article “The Untold Story of Notpetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History,” stop now and come back to this later.
As you’ll learn, the targets for these attacks are normal companies that we all benefit from. Suddenly the pills we take, the food we eat, the things we buy and ship, physical access to the buildings we walk in and out of, our global supply chain is at unprecedented risk.
The conservative estimate for this last attack yielded $10 billion in losses, but the personal impact for consumers as well as the employees who could have unwittingly caused these downtimes are unfathomable. The cause? For most of these companies a little-known application living on a server rack in a corner of their operations took down their entire global supply chain.