22 municipalities across Texas were hacked with attackers demanding $2.5 million in ransom to unlock the files. This coordinated cyber attack has sent state emergency-management officials scrambling and prompted a federal investigation.
A “ransomware assault,” is a cyber-attack in which programmers remotely encrypt and deny access to critical information, systems, and files until a ransom payment is received. Such attacks are increasingly focused on small and medium-sized cities, counties, court frameworks, and school systems across the nation due to their outdated systems and ill-prepared response plans.
These are the four best controls to protect against ransomware:
- Make sure your Anti-Virus and operating system patches are deployed on all systems and updated.
- Perform backups and test recovering your systems from your backups.
- Ensure that all of your critical systems have at least one backup destination that is not continuously addressable through operating system calls.
- Limit administrative privileges for general users.
Prevention is always more cost-effective.
Contact STN if you feel you are possibly exposed.