Ransomware attack a wake-up call, says cyber security firm creating 120 jobs in Belfast

Last weekend's ransomware attack on global computer systems was a "wake-up call" for users to be more security-conscious, a new investor in Northern Ireland's burgeoning cyber industry has said.

US-based internet security firm Anomali will create 120 new jobs with the opening of its European Research and Development Labs in Belfast.

More than 300,000 machines in 150 countries have been infected with the WannaCry virus, crippling organisations from government agencies to multinational companies.

Ransomware attack a wake-up call, says cyber security firm creating 120 jobs in Belfast

Anomali chief executive Hugh Njemanze said it was one of the easiest attacks to insure against by backing up data.

He said: "The prevailing mentality has been, 'it will happen to someone else before me'."

He acknowledged the rapid expansion of the virus had surprised people.

"It is a very strong wake-up call for people to understand that... it probably will happen to me.

"This will result in people taking the threat and preparations more seriously."

He said the danger had been known about for three or four years but the delivery mechanism for WannaCry was new.

With global headquarters in Redwood City, California, Anomali provides cyber security solutions to help organisations identify and respond to security threats.

The firm gathers intelligence about the threat posed and delivers it to organisations.

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