On Thursday, March 22nd, City of Atlanta employees came in to work for the day to a letter stating that they were NOT to turn on their computers. They had been the victim of a ransomware attack. For many employees, this meant that they could perform little to none of their work. This lasted for six days. This means that for six days, no city employee could turn on a computer, much less access the internet, respond to emails, or take payments. This is why having a Proactive approach to Network Security is soo vital.
A ransomware attack is made by a hacker taking over a computer and encrypting its files so the owner cannot access them until a ransom is paid. In today’s digital age, instead of kidnapping a trust-fund kid and demanding a ransom, hackers are kidnapping our data and demanding hefty ransoms for its release.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
For a ransomware attack to be successful, it requires two things from its victim – 1. A weak, easily penetrable network, 2. An unassuming victim. Eliminating these two vulnerabilities is the best way to avoid becoming a victim of a ransomware attack.
“Just as much as we really focus on our physical infrastructure, we need to focus on the security of our digital infrastructure,” City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said after the attack.
Strengthening Digital Infrastructure Security
Since ransomware attacks become common place in 2013, digital security providers of all kinds have been releasing products to combat this issue. One of the best solutions has come from Cisco’s AnyConnect Plus product. With over 180 million end-points and 84,000 customers, Cisco has a vested interest in making sure their clients stay secure.