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Deeper Lessons From This Week’s Massive Ransomware Attack

Over the last week, a massive ransomware attack with the moniker WannaCry impacted tens of thousands of computers around the world. This cyberattack disrupted organizations as diverse as hospitals in the UK, auto maker Renault in France, and FedEx in the United States.

Now the fingerpointing begins – and there’s plenty of blame to go around. Top of the list are the criminals themselves, of course: a hacking group that calls themselves the ‘Shadow Brokers.’

The blame doesn’t end there, however. Researchers credit the NSA for creating and weaponizing the ransomware code in the first place. And then there are the folks who stole the code from the NSA – who may or may not be the same people as the Shadow Brokers.

None of these attacks would have been successful, however, if it weren’t for additional culpable parties: IT administrators around the world who simply failed to install a two-month-old software patch from Microsoft.

The Blame Game in the Enterprise

Unpatched software is, in fact, one of the most significant categories of vulnerability in enterprises today, as I warned in an article for Forbes back in April 2015. You would think that the title of the article — The Cybersecurity Risk That Dwarfs All Others – would be enough of a wakeup call to have stopped the WannaCry attack dead in its tracks.

Why, then, did so many Windows systems remain unpatched, two months after Microsoft issued the fix? To answer this question, we must dig below the obvious answers.

Read the entire article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2017/05/14/deeper-lessons-from-this-weeks-massive-ransomware-attack/.

Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, Microsoft is an Intellyx customer. None of the other organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Harald Groven.

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.