The ransomware threat

There are more of these cases than you might think. Emphasize prevention, but be prepared.

Most credit unions have heard about ransomware attacks, but few have experienced them, says Ray Murphy, chief information security officer at LEO Cyber Security, Dallas.

“The criminals are now exploiting schools, healthcare—including hospitals and doctors’ offices—and municipal governments that lack sophisticated cybersecurity controls. These organizations have experienced prolonged service disruptions, which adversely affect students, patients and residents.”

Ransomware attacks penetrate and hijack operations systems. To get the key to turn them back on, you may have to pay the ransom. Interestingly, you can probably trust the thief to bring your systems back up if you pay.

“These criminals police themselves and protect their brand,” Murphy reports. “They value a reputation for being true to their word. It’s honor among thieves. Ultimately, paying the ransom is a business decision and should be decided by executive leadership, even though law enforcement agencies discourage organizations from paying the ransom.”


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