If you do a search on cyber attacks, you will see this quote repeated over and over in the articles:
It’s not a matter of if, it’s when.
Just because we live in small town Indiana in the heartland of our country, we are not immune from these attacks.
On July 6th, La Porte County, Indiana government discovered a computer attack on their system. The county’s IT director, Darlene Hale, took immediate action and shut down all the their servers, including their email capabilities, to prevent further harm. At least half of the county’s servers were infected.
Hackers gained access to La Porte County’s computers and locked out the access to 7% of their files and demanded a ransom. Even after the FBI attempted to gain access, all attempts failed. So, a ransom of 10.5 Bitcoin ($132,000) was paid to the hackers.
Fortunately, for La Porte County, they have a Cyber Insurance policy through Travelers Insurance Company. Travelers paid $100,000 of the ransom.
What are the ✌️2 things you must have in place to reduce the risk and harm of a computer attack?
👉 PREVENTION – You and your employees are your biggest weakness that hackers are targeting. Cleverly disguised emails fool computer savvy people every day. Teach your employees if they get an email seems odd, STOP that should be a 🚩red flag to look closer at the email.
Google created a quick, simple quiz you can give all your employees who have computer access. This quiz will give them 8 examples of emails and they must decide is it a scam or legit. I sent this out to my staff the day I learned about it. This one quiz that only takes a few minutes will teach your employees more about ways you will be attacked than any other resource I have seen.
Former FBI Special Agent, Kathy Guider, states, “…people are busy and people just click links and open attachments and that’s all it takes.” Guider’s advice is, “Think before you open an attachment. Who is this email from? Do I know them? Why would they be sending me something?”
👉 PROTECTION – By protection, I mean financial protection, i.e. Cyber Insurance. Cyber ransoms are all about the money. If you want access to your data, paying is probably your only chance.
In the La Porte attack, the virus jumped all their firewalls and got into their backup servers. To think your anti-virus is all the protection you need is naive in today’s world.
Cyber Insurance is a complicated product that varies dramatically from company to company. What makes it hard is cyber criminals continually find new ways to wreak havoc on businesses and governments. You need to get coverage from a company that keeps up with the changes and continually adapts their policy to meet those needs.
Three companies that I trust when it comes to Cyber Insurance are Travelers, Beazley, and Evolve MGA. If you have questions concerning your business, government, or organization, feel free to contact me with questions.
Here are other articles on the La Porte County Ransomware Attack: