Nov 28, 2017

As a Grey’s Anatomy fan, and a cybersecurity professional, I couldn’t leave the last episode of Grey’s untouched.

In case you missed it (S14 E8) or don’t watch it, or like many others, gave up on season 5, I decided to share my own insights.

Caution – Spoiler Alert!

In this week’s episode, all the computers at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital linked to the network got hacked, and the hackers demanded 5,000 bitcoins to receive the decryption key.

What was truly interesting and mind boggling about the episode, was seeing how dependent everyone was on technological advancements.

With no access to the hospital’s computer system, medical records, labs, phones, monitors and patient files, the doctors were challenged to rely on what they referred to as “stone age” techniques, taught by Dr. Richard (one of the hospital’s pioneers).

It may only be a TV show, but what happened in Grey’s Anatomy is not so different than the recent WannaCry attack, and is not as farfetched as one might think. With no monitors, labs and records at reach, the results of this sort of attack can be deadly.

If Only Grey Sloan Memorial Had A Good Endpoint Protection Solution

In May, a massive ransomware attack dubbed ‘WannaCry’ affected hundreds of thousands of computers, many in UK hospitals.

The attack, first reported on May 12th, caused hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage. The extremely fast spread of WannaCry was enabled using the SMB vulnerability EternalBlue, developed by the NSA. This vulnerability was already patched by Microsoft on March 14th, two months before the attack. However, as many organizations did not deliver the update patch on time, or were using unsupported systems, they remained vulnerable, and were successfully attacked by this ransomware.

With a deep learning technology, as Deep Instinct’s, the attack would have been prevented.

What happened in Grey’s Anatomy may have been just TV, but one might wonder if the idea for the script was triggered based on recent activities such as WannaCry. The REAL WannaCry attack was detected by Deep Instinct, demonstrating the power of deep learning technology – identifying new, previously unseen malware, based on its strong predictive capabilities and preventing the attack.

Ransomware is a rising threat to organizations. Besides WannaCry, many other ransomware variants pose a threat to individuals and businesses. The potential for profit, and the relative ease through which cybercriminals can obtain ransomware due to offers of RaaS (ransomware as-a service) in the cybercriminal underground, is causing ransomware attacks to increase.

Classifying Malware as Ransomware

Deep Learning, a form of artificial intelligence, is inspired by the brain’s ability to learn. Once a human brain learns to identify an object, its identification becomes second nature. Bringing this approach to cybersecurity results in an artificial brain’s ability to detect any type of cyber threat and prevent it with unmatched accuracy.

Taking this one step forward, the ability to classify a specific malware can save an organization time and money. By using a deep learning brain, any new file trying to access a device is scanned and given a score, and the software agent can decide whether to block, prevent or allow the file to run. In addition,  a malware classification model (released in V2.1) provides threat intelligence thus providing the admin with immediate knowledge and understanding of the threat, the ability to act fast and accurately and set an automatic and actionable policy.

Don’t make yourself vulnerable and keep your organization’s data safe. Stay aware and stay secure by updating your security solutions.

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Image credit: Taken from Grey’s Anatomy, S14 E8, ABC