BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN IT SPECIALIST TODAY

Should Government Pay Ransomware?

An IBM Security study found that 60 percent of respondents opposed local governments paying ransomware. Read on to learn more about the implications.  

Government Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and U.S. taxpayers are divided on the issue of who should pay the hackers to recover the data. An IBM Security study surveyed 2,200 U.S. citizens on their understanding of and willingness to fund cybercrime recovery efforts. The respondents also gave their opinion on actions taken by the government to prevent and respond to cyberattacks.

The study found that:

  • 75% of the respondents were concerned about having their personal data held for ransom.
  • About 80% feared the impact of ransomware attacks on U.S. cities.
  • About 60% of U.S. citizens surveyed opposed their local governments using tax dollars to pay the ransom.
  • 60% of respondents preferred their city use tax dollars to fund recovery efforts rather than pay ransom.
  • More than 30% of taxpayers surveyed opposed paying to help emergency services, police departments and schools hit by a cyberattack. In addition, many of those willing to pay would only do so if restoration costs were less than $50,000.
  • About 40% of respondents specifically opposed to providing financial assistance to police departments and public schools.
  • About 90% of taxpayers surveyed supported an increase in federal funding to help local governments improve cybersecurity. In addition, more than 75% of responding citizens supported federal reimbursement to help cities already hit by cyberattacks deal with ongoing recovery efforts.

Can We Stop Cyberattacks?

While there’s no way to eliminate cybercrime completely, preparedness can drastically reduce its incidence. That starts with a collaborative effort from cybersecurity providers, local governments, businesses, and individuals.

Organizations must implement a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that includes recognizing red flags and responding to an attack. The vast majority of cities and businesses hit by attacks failed to take precautions and had no response plan. Understanding how hackers operate and what steps to take to minimize risk is crucial. Helpful precautions include:

  • Choosing strong passwords consisting of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Doing research before installing third-party applications
  • Backing up data on an external drive or through a cloud service
  • Keeping operating systems and software up to date
  • Recognizing malicious phishing emails
  • Using multi-factor authentication to access personal accounts

Prevention is the Best Cure

There is a widespread misunderstanding that paying a ransom will restore stolen data. Hackers often take the money without honoring their promise, leaving the victims deeper in the hole. Paying ransoms only guarantees future cyberattacks with higher demands. Even if the hacker agrees to release the data, the victims must still spend time and effort to restore each compromised device and conduct security audits. The high price of ransomware coupled with the untrustworthiness of the hackers make prevention the much better option.

As cybercriminals continue to ramp up attacks on cities and small businesses, cybersecurity is a must. By taking the proper precautions and learning how to recognize signs of malicious activity, individuals and organizations can help thwart hackers and reduce their risk of having their data held for ransom.

More Like This

AA22-223A: #StopRansomware: Zeppelin Ransomware

Original release date: August 11, 2022 Summary Actions to take today to mitigate cyber threats from ransomware: • Prioritize remediating known exploited vulnerabilities. • Train users to recognize and report phishing attempts. • Enable and enforce multifactor authentication. Note: this joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) is part of an ongoing #StopRansomware effort to publish advisories for …

AA22-223A: #StopRansomware: Zeppelin Ransomware Read More »

Read More

AA22-216A: 2021 Top Malware Strains

Original release date: August 4, 2022 Summary Immediate Actions You Can Take Now to Protect Against Malware: • Patch all systems and prioritize patching known exploited vulnerabilities. • Enforce multifactor authentication (MFA). • Secure Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and other risky services. • Make offline backups of your data. • Provide end-user awareness and training …

AA22-216A: 2021 Top Malware Strains Read More »

Read More

Small Business Guide To Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop

Small Business Guide To Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop The business world is becoming increasingly digital. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many companies have moved into work-from-home situations, which has made remote and hybrid working environments more desirable and commonplace for workers across the country. The modern workforce is more flexible and mobile than ever, and …

Small Business Guide To Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop Read More »

Read More

AA22-187A: North Korean State-Sponsored Cyber Actors Use Maui Ransomware to Target the Healthcare and Public Health Sector

Original release date: July 6, 2022 Summary The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) are releasing this joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) to provide information on Maui ransomware, which has been used by North Korean state-sponsored cyber actors since at least May 2021 to …

AA22-187A: North Korean State-Sponsored Cyber Actors Use Maui Ransomware to Target the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Read More »

Read More

AA22-181A: #StopRansomware: MedusaLocker

Original release date: June 30, 2022 Summary Actions to take today to mitigate cyber threats from ransomware: • Prioritize remediating known exploited vulnerabilities. • Train users to recognize and report phishing attempts. • Enable and enforce multifactor authentication. Note: this joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) is part of an ongoing #StopRansomware effort to publish advisories for …

AA22-181A: #StopRansomware: MedusaLocker Read More »

Read More

AA22-174A: Malicious Cyber Actors Continue to Exploit Log4Shell in VMware Horizon Systems

Original release date: June 23, 2022 Summary Actions to take today: • Install fixed builds, updating all affected VMware Horizon and UAG systems to the latest versions. If updates or workarounds were not promptly applied following VMware’s release of updates for Log4Shell in December 2021, treat all affected VMware systems as compromised. • Minimize the …

AA22-174A: Malicious Cyber Actors Continue to Exploit Log4Shell in VMware Horizon Systems Read More »

Read More