Many individuals and small businesses have fallen victim to ransomware. But this week, 23 Texas small town governmental entities were hit by a ransomware attack.
Ransomware is when hackers compromise data, encrypt files and extort you for money. Michael Strong, COO of BlueLayer IT says its all in hopes that you are going to pay the money to unlock your files.
We asked Strong if he had seen a large scope like this fall victim to ransomware.
“Certainly, we’ve seen cities maybe an aggregate that have larger population,” he said.
In light of this attack, Governor Abbott sent cyber-security experts into the areas. But what are the options for those cities and counties?
“I mean paying should really not be an option. Unfortunately, many cities will and do pay the ransom in order to get their files back because you’re dealing with a time sensitive issue as well,” Strong said. “Its not just computers and servers that are affected — many of these organizations their phone systems are down.”
We can say ‘better security systems and better personnel training’ but for governments, there is an inherent need to be more open and available than your average business or individual accounts. Sometimes there isn’t an patch fix for this.
Strong said he advises, “just good, solid back-ups. There’s just a matter of planning, affectedly deploying the tools that are already at their disposal and just minimizing the risk.”
“So its really what can you do to raise the bar, everybody is talking about it so now is a good time to raise the bar.”