As Florida has had economic growth, its businesses and organizations have suffered as victims of ransomware cyberattacks. In the last year and a half, ransomware attacks on Florida organizations have been on the rise. This has caused huge losses to those affected.
The global information security industry, which responds to cyberattacks, is expected to reach a value of over $170 billion by the year 2022. One of the fastest-growing methods of cybercrime is ransomware attacks. Between 2015-2017, the costs of ransomware increased by a factor of 15.
This alarming statistic forces organizations to tighten up their cybersecurity or risk the consequences. With this in mind, here are some key pieces of information that Florida organizations should know about ransomware.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of cyberattack. It is malware that encrypts a person or organization’s private files. After encrypting the victim’s data, the cybercriminal demands their target pay a ransom to regain access to their files.
The cybercriminal generally instructs the victim on how to pay the ransom. Upon payment, they promise to grant access back to the victim. There are constant hacking attempts on organizations and businesses of all sizes. Most often, they usually only find out when a cyberattack is successful.
Recent Attacks on Florida Organizations
There have been some significant attacks in Florida within the last few years. City governments of Riviera Beach and Lake City Florida High were victims of high profile ransomware attacks in 2019. They were forced to pay a combined $1 million to ransomware attackers to regain their intel.
The ransomware attack on Riviera Beach city government occurred through a phishing email which an employee opened. This mistake provided hacker access to all of the government online systems. Hackers then held their systems hostage until the ransom was paid.
Analysis indicates that more than one-third of all government organizations have outdated cybersecurity technology. This puts them at risk of facing similar payouts.
Negative Impacts of a Ransomware Attack
Victims’ options after a cyberattack offer a lose-lose situation. Victims who choose to refuse the hacker demands lose a significant amount of confidential data. Not only does this have legal ramifications, but it can also severely damage trust levels and an organization’s reputation.
On the other hand, victims who pay the ransom to recover the information suffer financial consequences. And they don’t have a guarantee that their stolen data will be returned. No matter the outcome, a ransomware attack can paralyze an organization.
What Are the Preventative Measures?
Some of the most effective ways to prevent an attack are as follows:
- Keep all software and technology updated. These updates may include essential security patches to repair any recognized breaches.
- Establish a security protocol. Train staff on safe practices at work. Ensure that they can recognize phishing attacks and that they utilize safe password habits.
- Hire third-party IT security. Cybersecurity IT services can make sure your organization is prepped and protected from an attack. They can provide a risk assessment, identify security weaknesses, update and strengthen systems, and work with employees to help them utilize better security practices.
Cybercrime attacks will continue as a major threat to businesses and organizations. By equipping yourself and your organization with the right knowledge and resources, you can minimize your risk of a devastating attack. At TheCompuLab, our expert technicians are ready to offer your Florida organization the IT support you need to have round the clock security.