U.S. Government Stresses the Need for Cybersecurity Awareness and Education in Light of Ransomware Attacks on Government Entities



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In light of the recent string of attacks that seem to be targeting government agencies and municipalities, a new multi-agency press release provides guidance on how to be resilient.

We’ve covered a string of attacks on U.S. agencies that are too similar to call them coincidence, and ransomware attacks have been gaining steam in 2019, with the scope of attack taking down entire networks.

In response, a press release lead by the U.S. Government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, as part of a multi-agency effort, urges “State, local, territorial and tribal government partners, along with the wider cyber community” to proactively take steps to reduce the likelihood of successful ransomware attack.

As part of a plan to establish resilience against ransomware attacks, three key steps are recommended:

  • Have Backups Ready – this should include all critical workloads and endpoints. Backups should be stored either offline or in the cloud, inaccessible to ransomware bent on finding and deleting backups.
  • Educate Employees – users are most often the key element that allows ransomware to execute. Putting employees through Security Awareness Training can help them to identify suspect emails and web pages, helping to avoid interacting with malicious content that could be used to launch a ransomware attack.
  • Hone Response Plans – Beyond ensuring plans are up-to-date, the press release urges the inclusion of requesting assistance from external agencies that can help with response activities.

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