North America 2022: Ransomware, tech talent and 5G

After a string of supply chain attacks, the trend is expected to continue, impacting security policies, hiring, and tech adoption in 2022.

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Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock.com | IDG

When the US Justice Department announced in November that it had arrested and charged a hacker suspected of taking part in the Kaseya cyber-attack, it was just the latest salvo by the US to tackle the ransomware flurry that took on a new level of danger in 2021.

Kaseya, the IT management software firm, was struck by hackers in July in a supply chain ransomware attack. The company said that only a small sliver of its clients was affected but many of these clients are managed service providers, meaning a downstream of effects on smaller businesses that use these providers. The attack held similar hallmarks to the SolarWinds attack.

However, Kaseya was just one of many victims in 2021 where ransomware reached new heights, pursuing more ambitious and daring targets.

The banner attack of 2021 that sent shivers down the spine of every IT manager and security team member this year was the ransomware attack on the Colonial gas pipeline.

The attack on Colonial’s systems in May forced the energy company to disable some of its operations. This disrupted the flow of petroleum from Texas to New Jersey through its 5,500-mile pipeline. It was the much-feared physical impact of a cyberattack.

Kevin Haley, director of product management for security response at Broadcom, told IDG Connect that these major attacks in 2021 showed just how bad ransomware can get.

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