Bitcoins, the most popular digital currencies, enjoys a burgeoning amount of both positive and negative popularity. On the upside, exponential cyber insecurity which is currently an indisputable challenge to firms and governments has propelled companies to be proactive through stashing up on Bitcoins. On the serious downside, due to the extreme anonymity associated with bitcoins and others, cyber criminals have turned to such methods in collecting bounties. We are still shaking from the aftershock of the ransomware, ‘WannaCry’ that exploited vulnerable systems and cashing in for the master through bitcoins.
A survey conducted by Citrix, a corporate networking company, indicates that IT departments too are preparing for unapparent attacks through bitcoin reservation. This survey was conducted in the UK, where a third of the subjects (with a worker base of more than 250 professionals), out of 250 agreed to stockpiling the currency. Moreover, most of these firms indicated that they didn’t maintain a consistent backup.
Cyber security experts argue that a regular backup of data is the best way of protecting a company’s IT and resource infrastructure. With such facts, it is basic intelligence making a determination why most of these firms are buying out bitcoins aplenty. Determination of the actual number of companies involved in such a desperate trend may not be as yielding -such information would contribute to victimization.
Consistent with Citrix’s research, published to coincide with Infosec Europe 2017, a growth of a huge 361% rise compared to the two successive research data years. A striking fact that came forth beside the caution of the corporate is that payoffs, in the hackers preferred currency, are not only limited to ransomware but other forms of attacks. In 2016, the Guardian, reported on a London's greatest banks DDoS targeting which threatened to bring their IT systems down lest a bitcoin-based payment was made. One may wonder, with unregulated crypto-currencies’ potential volatility, why would blue chip companies be stockpiling them? Answers may be diverse, but with the current $2000 to one bitcoin rates, I would assess that the value of cryptocurrency isn’t doing bad at all.
Another Information Management company, Nuix, argues that thousands of US companies have already given ransom in the form of bitcoins. Companies with local servers are the ones most faced with this moral dilemma. ‘Paying out ransom is siding with the bad guys,’ Paula, CEO DataGravity, argues. It may be a paradox, however, learning that the FBI too was reported to have paid out ransom for their files.
In retrospect, this cyber insecurity storm has exposed remarkable loopholes in how companies conduct their business and has pushed everyone to adopt the once bitten-twice shy approach. Wannacry showed us that using obsolete Windows operating systems is dangerous, progressive technology is endorsed yet not embraced by the majority.
Those amongst us who can be pragmatic enough have taken the obvious route and are pushing towards a more digitalized and better secured future. This future includes stocking up on digital currency.