A successful cyber attack on a prominent Alabama city’s computer systems underscores the need for not only strong network security, but also a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
Florence, northwestern Alabama’s primary economic hub, per Wikipedia, agreed to pay almost $300,000 to cybercriminals. Why?
Early in June, DoppelPaymer successfully launched a cyberattack, unleashing ransomware onto Florence’s network.
Ransomware encrypts the data in a network, rendering the whole system useless. The criminals will then demand a ransom, typically in bitcoin, in exchange for the decryption keys which will unlock the data.
The DoppelPaymer ransomware gang is known for stealing large amounts of data from the target network before deploying the devastating ransomware. Thus, in addition to the ransomware, there is also the threat of having the stolen data published or sold in the Dark Web.
The city was actually warned by a security researcher in late May, almost two weeks before the successful attack, but sadly it may have already been too late at that point.
“The danger of ransomware is real,” exclaimed Brian Walker, CEO of InCare Technologies. “All organizations, businesses, and municipalities need to make cybersecurity a top priority.”
“Having a sound backup plan is a vital part of your security,” said Aaron Allen, Director of Technical Services at InCare. “If your layers of security fail, your backups are the perfect last line of defense. Being able to promptly restore from a recent backup minimizes costly downtime and allows you to get back to business.”
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