According to Emisoft, by 2019, at least 948 public services, education providers and healthcare providers have fallen victim to ransomware attack. On the other hand, her analysis Recorded Futureshowed that 81 successful ransomware attacks on their government services took place USA resulting in many small towns being affected in the wider area.
Η FloridaThe LouisianaThe New Orleans and Texas are just some of the local governments affected by such an attack. If ransomware infiltrates a government network, can cause many problems, such as: disruption of service systems or even the whole city, loss of access to central government systems, financial losses etc
According to IBM, many US local and state governments feel very confident about their security against malware, but Deloitte says that in fact, governments are not doing enough to protect themselves.
According to researchers, local and state governments now provide their services online. This combined with its increased appearance Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) offers to hackers more opportunities for attack.
“Πριν από λίγες δεκαετίες, υπήρχαν ελάχιστοι μόνο υπολογιστές στα κεντρικά γραφεία των τοπικών σχολικών μονάδων ή των αστυνομικών τμημάτων, αλλά today there are everywhere computers“, λέει η έκθεση. “Each of these computers is a potential access point for some malware“. Σύμφωνα με τους ερευνητές, αυτό σημαίνει ότι οι κυβερνητικές υπηρεσίες έχουν πλέον να προστατεύσουν πολλά περισσότερα συστήματα, however, no such investments have been made in cybersecurity.
But there is another key reason why governments are vulnerable to ransomware and others hacking attacks. That is the reason the use of old, outdated and out-of-date systems and software. All of these systems may have vulnerabilities exploited by hackers.
“Ακόμα και τα τρέχοντα, ενημερωμένα δίκτυα απαιτούν συνεχή προσπάθεια για τη διατήρηση των διορθώσεων και των ρυθμίσεων ασφαλείας, έργο που ακόμη και το πιο άρτια στελεχωμένο και εκπαιδευμένο προσωπικό βρίσκει δύσκολο”, λέει η Deloitte.
However, research highlights that the most important factor in the success of ransomware attacks is the person and not systems. If it does not exist specialized staff and overall sensitization on cyber security, hackers can launch successful attacks. The Phishing and social engineering are two commonly used techniques and their success depends on their treatment users.
A survey conducted by NASCIO and Deloitte found that in government services, μόνο το 2% του συνολικού IT προϋπολογισμού χρησιμοποιείται για την ασφάλεια στον κυβερνοχώρο.
So there is no proper infrastructure, and governments have to pay ransom if they fall victim ransomware attack. Many times there are no backups either.
In the meantime, not paying the ransom can prove to be significantly more expensive.
One example is the city of Baltimore, which refused to pay ransom ($ 76.000) but lost more than $ 18 million due to lost revenue and investment to restore the systems.
Ransomware is not going to disappear anytime soon. Therefore, ways to deal with them must be found.
So what can state and local governments do to tackle the problem?
Modernization of systems: Modernizing computer systems is important. The systems, the services they use must be up-to-date and up-to-date to prevent the major problems that ransomware can cause them.
Employees training: Education and training staff is crucial, as we said, the human factor plays a role in the success of ransomware attacks.
Patch and updates: Services must constantly update their systems. They also need to segment their data and networks.
Cyberinsurance: While cyberinsurance services can cover the cost of ransomware attacks, their use should be carefully considered. These services usually encourage clients (victims of attack) to pay ransom. Hackers know this, so they are getting more and more money.