The ongoing pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine has created ransomware surge. The headlines that have recently been in the news regarding major ransomware attacks can actually help protect you. Becoming aware of why and where ransomware attacks are being seen can help stop an attack from happening to you, being that everyone is an open target.
Below are a few (of many) recent headlines of those who have experienced a breach:
- A Louisville Law Firm was threatened by extortionists to pay them or else they would publish stolen, confidential files from the law firm.
- Cincinnati Museum Center experienced a ransomware attack, shutting down their establishment for weeks. This occurred right before the kickoff of tourist season, putting them back and costing them thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
- Austin Peay University and Kellogg Community College both experienced a ransomware attack. APU had to cancel final exams because of this attack. KCC classes were halted, and everyone was forced to undergo a password reset while an investigation was in progress.
The education and healthcare sector are primary targets for hackers. This is most likely due to the abundance of information they hold and having multiple attack surfaces. Yet, no matter what sector you are in, it is highly advised to uphold the best security practices. Tony Higgins, a cybersecurity consultant, shares that “for every ransomware attack you read about on the news, there are probably 20 more that companies have managed to keep quiet”. So, it is in everyone’s best interest to be overly prepared and protected now, rather than having to do serious damage control later, thus interrupting business.
It is very unfortunate that ransomware attacks have surged in the past year. While there are major headlines of those who have fallen victim to the breaches, there are also many organizations that have been able to keep their breaches a secret and away from the public eye. The true amount of ransomware attacks is unknown. Each attack is extremely damaging to an organization. Therefore, we should learn from other organizations mistakes to further protect ourselves and prevent an attack from happening to you in the near future.