Forbes recently had another article on a ransomware outbreak that resonated with us here at Wedge Networks. Ransomware has been wreaking havoc on a growing number of municipalities as of late, taking down both essential and non-essential services and causing many municipal departments such as police and fire to go back to paper reporting. This Forbes article mentions the attack on Cleveland’s Hopkin International Airport last week in which several information systems were disrupted by a ransomware outbreak.
I don’t know about you, but I consider airports to be pretty essential in terms of transportation for both passengers and cargo in and out of their region. Thankfully, the malware that affected Hopkins International Airport only impacted some of the clerical systems, hitting email, payroll, digital records and some digital signage around the airport, as opposed to more critical infrastructure such as the air traffic control systems. In this case, travellers remained mainly unaffected as TSA was able to keep security flowing smoothly and both arrivals and departures remained on schedule.
Unlike other municipalities, such as Atlanta, which was hit by the SamSam malware, which demanded a $55K cryptocurrency payment; and which ended up costing almost $17MM to recover from, Cleveland is one of the “lucky” ones and won’t see nearly as high a financial hit. Other municipalities will not be as lucky, however. What we liked about the Forbes article is that it ended on the “prevention” mindset that Wedge Networks is a huge proponent of, suggesting that “Other municipalities need to learn from these events and be proactive – spending $1 on prevention now can prevent $100 (or more) in remediation costs later.”
As we have mentioned on previous blogs, prevention could and SHOULD be the cure instead of relying on detection and expensive remediation. It continues to be our civic responsibility to all the municipalities out there to offer our Wedge Advanced Malware Blocker FREE for 90 days. Email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how your organization can prevent these attacks from happening instead of paying the huge remediation bill later on!