Future Of Cyber. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Is The SolarWinds Hack A Sign Of The Times?

Siobhan Gorman on what lies ahead for cybercrime fighters

Amanda Glassner

Northport, N.Y. – Mar. 26, 2021

“Zoom is the new war room,” declares Siobhan Gorman, a top cybersecurity expert, reflecting on how COVID-19 has impacted the cybersphere.

Hackers have seized the pandemic as open season. Following a 600 percent spike in cybercrime over the past year, industry leaders are wondering what the future will bring. Gorman has some ideas.

A three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, Gorman was a journalist for 17 years, reporting on cybersecurity for the likes of the Wall Street Journal “before it was cool.” Today, she helps stop cyber intruders before they’re front-page news as a partner at Brunswick Group — but due to COVID-19, she’s fighting from her couch.

Gorman’s workspace isn’t the only thing that’s changed since last year — the entire cyber threat landscape has shifted. Though we have yet to fully grasp the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say the future of cybersecurity is in question.

“COVID led to quite a surge in breaches,” Gorman told us. “It was a very intense year.”

Cybercrime Radio: Siobhan Gorman Warns On Cybercrime

Recent hacks and breaches may be a sign of the times

Cybercrime Radio

And we’re not out of the woods yet. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2025, cyberattack costs will exceed $10 trillion globally, up from $6 trillion in 2021.

The late 2020 SolarWinds breach is an example of just how much damage adversaries can do. The highly sophisticated attack was “one of the biggest espionage campaigns recently discovered,” according to a report by CNBC.

This year, “more shoes will drop on the SolarWinds front,” warned Gorman. “And beyond that, we should expect to see more nation-states go after both government and private-sector entities.” Further, if adversarial countries want to put the U.S.’s new administration to the test, “cyber means is as good a way as any” to do so, according to Gorman.

The “go-to method of attack” for modern cybercriminals is ransomware. In 2021, this malicious malware is expected to take a new victim every 11 seconds, making it the fastest-growing cybercrime.

“Ransomware is alive and well,” cautioned Gorman, and because “it’s been an effective business model for criminals,” we will see increasingly creative attacks in the coming years.

Among 20 percent of women who make up the global cybersecurity workforce, Gorman is well-versed in creative solutions. “Female representation in cybersecurity is not where it should be,” she said, and “without a mix of perspectives,” the industry is at an alarming disadvantage.

Recent initiatives to hire more women are pivotal in getting ahead of unprecedented cyber threats. Gorman can attest to this, as she often works on successful, female-centric teams. “When it comes down to it, we’re focused on making sure that what we need to do for our client gets done, and if it happens to be with an all-female team, all the better.”

To hear more about Gorman’s career, as well as some wine recommendations to get you through the remaining days of the pandemic, listen to the full podcast episode here.

And you can find more information about Gorman in “Women Know Cyber: 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime,” published by Cybersecurity Ventures.

Amanda Glassner is a staff writer and reporter at Cybercrime Magazine.

Go here to read all of my blogs and articles covering cybersecurity. Go here to send me story tips, feedback and suggestions.