Cybersecurity Journalist says SolarWinds Hack is a “Harbinger” of Threats to Come



Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and author Misha Glenny says that ransomware should be the top concern of European organizations — and that they’re not prepared. “Over the past year, we have seen a ramping up of the strategy among some of the top Russian ransomware groups. Instead of just locking up your data, leaving you to bang your head against a brick wall, some groups are now carrying out their threat to exfiltrate your data and post it for all your competitors to peruse,” he told the ACFE. “The darkest moment in cybersecurity over the last year was the discovery of the SolarWinds hack … This is a harbinger of the security issues in the era of the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine learning.” Glenny, who’s groundbreaking exposé, McMafia, has been adapted into a major BBC television series, will be speaking at the virtual 2021 ACFE Fraud Conference Europe, 11-12 March. 

In his address to anti-fraud professionals at the conference, he hopes to share the importance of taking multiple factors into account when looking at cybersecurity. “To understand cybersecurity, you need more than just expensive digital solutions. Cybersecurity is about people and their various psychological vulnerabilities,” he said. “Above all, cybersecurity is entwined with questions of geo-politics, and so all companies need to be able to scan the horizon to see what is coming down the road at them.”

Another speaker at the conference is Bernard O’Donnell, the head of the fraud investigations division for the European Investment Bank (EIB). “Although reacting to incoming allegations from various internal and external sources remains our core work to uncover fraud and corruption, investigative offices also need to rely on proactive detection for a 360-degree coverage of fraud issues,” he said. “Proactive fraud detection enables EIB to assess and detect the vulnerability of certain operations and processes to fraud or corruption through a detailed review of the project and the systematic analysis of internal and external data.”

Glenny and O’Donnell will be joined by investigative reporter Dan McCrum, who exposed the Wirecard scandal, former undercover police officer and prosecuting attorney Pamela Barnum, J.D., and more. Educational sessions, taught by top experts in the anti-fraud field from around the world, will focus on subjects including the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive, ISA 240 compliance, the darknet, corporate monitorships and more. To learn more about the conference, visit

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