Go ahead and cry, WannaCry!

Nearly 100,500 US dollars (worth around 89,500 euros) is the sum that the hackers have raised in ransom from public institutions and commercial enterprises with the WannaCry trojan – by 21 May at 6 a.m. CET. In mid-May the criminals had attacked servers and networks of organizations worldwide with their trojan, blocked access to data, and in this way paralyzed productions and processes. For unlocking the data, they demanded ransom money from the companies hit. Among those affected was the German National Railways “Deutsche Bahn”, ­according to Spiegel Online.

The topic of IT security is not new. Experts have been pointing out a dilemma of our time for years. On the one hand, digitization makes production and processes in companies and organizations more efficient and transparent. It saves costs and increases profits. On the other hand, production and processes are made vulnerable to hacker attacks owing to security gaps, as has now been the case with the WannaCry trojan. That, in turn, instantly causes prices to rocket, to put it bluntly.

Even if the medium-sized businesses of the precast concrete industry may still have been largely spared from attacks of this kind, there is evidently growing awareness of the need to protect company networks and servers better (see for example “Entry point via the precast concrete balcony,” p. 34). The article “Effective protection of companies and data” (p. 46) wants to sharpen awareness of this subject. Our experienced technical author draws attention to the potential loopholes that exist in companies and to the measures available for protecting them and making them less vulnerable. It is hoped that WannaCry will never again cause anyone to cry, at least not in the precast industry.

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