The Mecklenburg County Ransomware Attack -- Four Key Takeaways for Your Breach Readiness Program
The scope of ransomware victims continues to rapidly expand beyond individual consumers and into business and Government organizations. This was recently evidenced in early December 2017 by the Mecklenburg County (NC) local Government in which they were the victim of a ransomware attack. The impact of this malicious software attack resulted in Mecklenburg County spending many man-hours and resources to restore their systems to a previously known state. For days and even weeks, County Government Services were unavailable, or at best limited, due to the lack of IT system access while the analysis and resulting phased restoration plan was being deployed. What have we learned from this event and other similar malware incidents? Upon reflection, below are 4 key takeaways from this ransomware attack that can help strengthen your organization’s Breach Readiness Response Program posture.
- Establish a contractual relationship with a cyber security consulting firm before a breach occurs. It’s not a matter of if, but when an attack will occur. Be prepared by establishing a contractual relationship with a trusted security firm before a breach occurs. Consider leveraging this relationship to help assess the maturity of your Breach Readiness Response Program.
- Increase the frequency of your cyber security awareness training to more than once every 12 months for all employees and contractors. Identify other training and learning opportunities throughout the year to help reinforce end-user cyber security responsibilities for your employees and contractors.
- Roll-out a monthly internal marketing campaign that focuses on end-user cyber security responsibilities. Increased messaging helps reinforce and keep end-user cyber security responsibilities top of mind for all employees and contractors throughout the year.
- Regularly test critical back-up data and associated media for reliability. A periodic back-up routine should not only include verifying and validating the critical data, but testing the back-up media for overall reliability.
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