Unusual but True! According to a recent survey conducted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), ransomware attacks have been found to induce suicidal tendencies in some cybersecurity professionals. The intense psychological and physical stress experienced during the recovery and aftermath of a cyber attack appears to be taking a toll.
The released report underscores the importance of ensuring that security professionals are adequately prepared before any unforeseen incident occurs, aiming to alleviate stress and physical strain on information security experts.
Referencing an incident in the Financial Industry in October 2023, the report highlights how the attack triggered panic among professionals, resulting in one individual experiencing a heart attack that required an angiogram and subsequent angioplasty. Another professional, overwhelmed during the recovery process, suffered dehydration due to excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks.
Individuals with pre-existing sensitive medical conditions are advised to monitor their health during or after the course of a ransomware attack recovery, as it can lead to temporary illnesses or even critical conditions such as paralysis or epilepsy.
RUSI has compiled a list of health-related consequences caused by ransomware attacks on organizations and their staff. The stress and strain on those dealing with IT-related events are exacerbated by the lack of the required level of talent and in-house availability due to budget constraints.
Additionally, the pressure intensifies as cyber laws mandate reporting an attack to the public within a 48 to 72-hour timeframe, and subsequent prosecution practices by data watchdogs create challenges for CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs.
To mitigate these challenges, RUSI suggests preparing well for such events with proactive security measures. Creating stress-free environments by distributing IT duties among team members might prove instrumental in alleviating fears, stress, and other issues associated with cyber attacks to a significant extent.