If you are looking for expert comment on the global ransomware cyber-attack Mark Skilton, of Warwick Business School, researches cyber security and is author of Building Digital Ecosystems with a new book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, soon to be published. He is a Professor of Practice in the Information Systems & Management group.
Mark Skilton said: “This attack has shown there needs to be a ‘cyber police force’ at a global level to help manage these escalating threats with the right level of specialist skills, and not just vendors sorting it out for themselves.
“With Microsoft, as well as many other vendors and cyber response agencies, citing a 75% increase in user expectation to be cyber-attacked in the next 12 months, this attack has just gone to the ‘next level’.
“Ransomware is the third generation next development after Denial of Service (DOS) and data breach theft, to not only enter computers, but inflict psychological and financial loss at the same time.
“My research has found a need for a global legal system to govern the internet as its activity is unseen and spreads across geographic and commercial jurisdictions. While we all carry the liability, we have little protection to tackle what is now open full scale war with the criminals.
“Microsoft is right to call for a ‘Digital Geneva convention of rights’; the risk and impact of cyber weapons can do the same or more harm than physical weapons. It can indirectly kill patients, change traffic controls, alter car onboard steering systems, change election outcomes and more.
“With the rapid rise of the connected digital society with wearables, automated travel and your privacy and life in full digital view security a huge problem.
“Governing the digital world is much harder as the identity of people and things is obfuscated, partly due to the paradox of the need for privacy, but also from the nature of digital data that is re-coded, redactable and transmutable.
“The current threats mean that general users and companies can not protect themselves. Just doing perimeter security does not work as this ransomware has shown. Plus, it can get through networks as a “worm” technology.”