Ramsomware Attack Still Slowing Atlanta Down

By:  |  Category: Blog, Security Friday, March 30th, 2018  |  No Comments
Atlanta Ransomware Attack

A week after getting hit by a ransomware attack, the city of Atlanta is still struggling to get on it’s feet.

As of today, “law enforcement is still not using some of its databases and the city’s water department can’t take any form of payment. Plus, the municipal court continues to push off its caseload, indefinitely.” (NPR) According to reports, government employees are filling out all  paperwork by hand. The city says there is no evidence to believe any customer or employee data is compromised, but they are recommending residents contact credit agencies and monitor their accounts as a precautionary measure.

The hackers threatened a hard deadline of April 4 for the ransom payment, but the city has not yet decided if they will give in to the demand of roughly $50,000 to possibly regain access to their data.

If Atlanta does not succumb to the hijackers’ demands, then it’s following the FBI’s don’t-pay-the-blackmailers policy. “Paying a ransom not only emboldens current cyber criminals to target more organizations, it also offers an incentive for other criminals to get involved in this type of illegal activity,” FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor wrote in a 2016 report on rising ransomware attacks.

Municipalities in general are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks because they’re expected to provide 24/7 online services at minimal cost to taxpayers, according to Andrew Green, an information security lecturer at Kennesaw State University.

“They’re expected to do all of this with a shoestring budget,” stated Green  “And so, this is a wakeup call, potentially, that cities need to start looking at how seriously they’re taking their own cybersecurity posture.”

How to Avoid Ransomware

Cybersecurity Training: It’s crucial that your employees have a basic understanding of what ransomware is and the threats that it poses to your business. Illustrate to your team what phishing emails look like and give them clear instructions on what to do if they come across a potential ransomware lure (for example, think before you click, don’t open attachments, question everything, if you see something, say something, etc.).

Protect: Maintain a strong antivirus software to protect against ransomware and other risks. Make sure your security software is up to date to protect against newly identified threats. Keep all business applications patched and updated to minimize vulnerabilities.

Backup: Modern total data protection solutions take snapshot-based, incremental backups as frequently as every five minutes to create a series of recovery points. If your business suffers a ransomware attack, this technology allows you to roll back your data to a point-in-time before the corruption occurred. First, you don’t need to pay the ransom to get your data back. Second, since you are restoring to a point-in-time before the ransomware infected your systems, you can be certain everything is clean and the malware can’t be triggered again.

Finally, remember to NEVER pay the ransom demand.  There’s no guarantee you will retrieve your data even if you pay the ransom and you are supporting the hackers’ efforts.

If you need help with a cybersecurity or backup solution give EnhancedTECH a call at 714-970-9330 or contact us at sales@enhancedtech.com.

Source: NPR

Datto, Fox News

Samantha Keller

Samantha Keller

Director of Marketing and PR at EnhancedTECH
Samantha Keller (AKA Sam) is a published author, tech-blogger, event-planner and mother of three fabulous humans. Samantha has worked in the IT field for the last fifteen years, intertwining a freelance writing career along with technology sales, events and marketing. She began working for EnhancedTECH ten years ago after earning her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and attending Fuller Seminary. She is a lover of kickboxing, extra-strong coffee, and Wolfpack football.Her regular blog columns feature upcoming tech trends, cybersecurity tips, and practical solutions geared towards enhancing your business through technology.
Samantha Keller

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