This past week a Massachusetts school district paid $10,000 ransom to unlock its files after a cyber attack. The Police Chief commented that there is no further investigation of this crime because solving this crime is "impossible". This is unfortunately a sign of the times.
At Ekaru, it's been our mission for years to SECURE and EDUCATE our small business clients. All of us see headlines in the news when big companies get hit with a cyber attack, and too often we think that's a problem that only happens to large well known companies (Sears, Equifax, Sony, Target, etc).
Today's modern threats are automated and indiscriminate. ANYONE, no matter how big or small can get hit with a cyber attack. When an attack is local, it's a reminder that cybersecurity affects ALL of us, and this is a matter of public safety.
In the case of the school, its unclear how the ransomware got onto the network, but one of the most common attack vectors is email, so its vitally important to train employees. Clicking on phishing emails and using weak passwords are easy to fix with some security awareness education. In addition, its clear that the school district didn't have a disaster recovery plan or even a robust backup if they had to pay the ransom.
We're working to spread the word that with some technology, process, and people fixes (training!), we can all greatly reduce the threat of cyber attacks.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a case close to home to remind us of how real these threats are.
To read the full article, go to cbsnews.com.