What is cybersecurity? What is ransomware? What do we need to do to protect our IT systems from an attack by cybercriminals? Each of these questions demands attention, for to do otherwise would simply invite unnecessary chaos, would simply lay out the red carpet for cyberattacks to take root.
Ransomware emerged in Eastern Europe in 2009, when cybercriminals locked up user machines and demanded money to unlock them. Cybersecurity experts estimate that these criminals made more than $1 billion dollars from ransomware in 2016, as reported by the FBI. These cyberattacks are not limited to large corporations or countries and major U. S. cities, but attempted ransomware attacks against local governments in the U. S. are becoming all too frequent and all too common. Municipal systems and city infrastructures are at risk, as well. Unless an entity is still working with pen and paper, computers will always be subject to attack. Most recently (March, 2018), the city of Atlanta’s employees were told to turn off their personal computers, when the city fell victim to a ransomware attack. “We are confident that our team of technology professionals will be able to restore applications soon,” a city spokesperson said. And that’s the key: remaining confident with a team of IT professionals who are knowledgeable and ready at a moment’s notice (much like first responders) to work to reverse the damage.
Business Information Technology Services (B.I.T.S.) wants to be that point person for you, so that you too can remain confident for not “if” an attack will take place, but the certainty of “when” an attack will take place. Without the knowledge and expertise offered from an experienced, professional IT professional, businesses and countries, cities, and individuals are left exposed to risk and potential liabilities related to systems like water and traffic as well as loss of data.
The intensity of cyber conflict around the world is increasing, and the tools are becoming cheaper and more readily available. –Jared Cohen
“It’s going to be even more important that local governments look for the no-cost/low- cost, but start considering cybersecurity on the same level as public safety,” said David Jordan, the chief information security officer for Arlington County, Va. “A smart local government will have fire, police and cybersecurity at the same level.” NYC Secure is the first-ever cybersecurity initiative to protect New Yorkers online from potential hacking and suspicious activities (Observer). In 2017 mobile phones constituted 50% of web traffic, with the average user spending more than five hours/day on their smartphone. By 2020, 30% of all cyberattacks will be mobile-based. And, according to the FBI, cities and schools and hospitals are especially vulnerable to hackers. Cyberattacks are particularly on the rise against organizations that serve the public.