Organizations must take a number of critical steps to prepare a response to ransomware attacks before they hit, says Caleb Barlow, the new president and CEO of security consulting firm CynergisTek, who offers a guide.
More than 600 ransomware attacks pummelled local governments, schools districts and healthcare providers across the U.S. in the first three quarters of this year, according to a study by security firm Emsisoft. Meanwhile, the FBI this week issued a fresh warning about the threat.
Medical facilities and hospitals across the state of Victoria in Australia were infected by file-encrypting ransomware on Monday, causing the shutdown of patient booking systems and financial systems. At least one hospital has reverted to using paper-based systems.
The city of Baltimore's ransomware outbreak - $18 million in costs and counting - led to many crypto-locked files being lost forever, because no IT policy mandated centralized file backups. But effective IT solutions exist to help solve this challenge, provided they're deployed in advance of an attack.
A ransomware attack late last week on a county hospital in rural Wyoming was still causing patient care disruptions on Monday. Some patients were sent more than 125 miles away to other area hospitals for treatment.
Ransomware-wielding attackers treat infecting endpoints as a business and put customer relationship management principles to work, says Bill Siegel, CEO of ransomware incident response firm Coveware. He notes criminals "go after the low-hanging fruit because it's cheap and the conversion rate is high."
The ransomware blitz against the healthcare sector continues: A Utah clinic has reported an attack that potentially affected 320,000 patients, making it one of the largest breaches of its kind so far this year.
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Three weeks after a ransomware attack slammed 22 Texas municipalities' systems, state officials say more than half of the cities have returned to normal operations and the rest have advanced to system restoration. Meanwhile, officials have shared lessons learned for managed service providers and customers.
The mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, took the unusual step this week of holding a press conference to describe a recent ransomware attack and explain why the city decided not to pay the $5.3 million ransom that was demanded.
Do criminal organizations prefer to target organizations that hold cyber insurance policies? A ProPublica report suggests that because cyber insurance policyholders are more likely to pay ransoms, they're a more frequent target. But some cybersecurity experts have expressed skepticism.