On May 12th, 2017 a world-wide ransomware attack, appropriately named WannaCry, infected hundreds of thousands of vulnerable targets, including hospitals, schools, law enforcement agencies, and small businesses. Organizations still using older Windows operating systems were targeted, as the ransomware quickly spread through networked computers in over 150 countries.
Where Did WannaCry Come From?
On April 14th, 2017 the hacktivist group, The Shadow Brokers, tweeted a link to a Steemit article, providing instructions for accessing stolen NSA tools. Among these was a tool called ETERNALBLUE, which was recently used to create the WannaCry strain of ransomware. This ransomware tool exploits vulnerabilities found in Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.
“We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world. Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage,” remarked Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith.
Protect Your Organization with Cisco Training
While the recent ransomware attack came from a 10-year-old technology and could’ve been prevented with a simple update, future attacks will certainly become more sophisticated. Protecting your organization’s most valuable assets requires more than just equipment upgrades; it requires expert supervision that only comes from a highly-trained staff.
“Companies spend millions of dollars on firewalls, encryption and secure access devices, and it’s money wasted, because none of these measures address the weakest link in the security chain.” – Kevin Mitnick
Cisco Security training provides a host of critical skills your network team needs to thoroughly protect your organization from ransomware and more. Protecting complex infrastructures goes far beyond malware awareness. Cyber threats come in all forms and Cisco Security provides a comprehensive approach to protecting your network.
Cisco offers associate, professional and expert-level certifications in network security. These include:
CCNA – Cisco Certified Network Associate
CCNP – Cisco Certified Network Professional
CCIE – Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert
The CCNA Security validates an associate-level of skill required for providing support on complex Cisco networks. This includes the ability to create a security infrastructure, identify threats, recognize vulnerabilities, and mitigate security issues. Students also learn to install, troubleshoot and manage networks and devices. Achieving the CCNA Security requires the successful completion of two exams and previous networking experience is recommended.
The CCNP is a highly-respected security certification, because it validates the ability to lead security teams or work independently on complex infrastructures. This certification takes a deeper dive into the subjects learned at the associate level and challenges students to learn how to secure large networks. Achieving the CCNP Security requires four additional exams beyond the CCNA. Certification prerequisites are any CCIE or the CCNA Security.
The CCIE is the highest level a Cisco Security practitioner can achieve and validates an expert-level of knowledge and experience. The CCIE program recognizes Cisco practitioners’ ability to design, implement, troubleshoot, and manage all Cisco Security technologies and solutions, while using best practices to secure modern infrastructures. Achieving this certification requires an existing CCNP Security and passing both a written and lab exam.
Summing It Up
Although ransomware continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, Cisco provides security solutions to help IT departments defend their most valuable assets. Whether the focus is certification or product knowledge, Cisco Security training provides a blanket of protection, unmatched by equipment alone.
“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.” — White House Cybersecurity Advisor, Richard Clarke
Anyone interested in learning more about Cisco Networking and Careers are encouraged to download this informative guide titled: Cisco Career Paths and Certifications.