The lack of preventative measures leaves much of the US public sector as easy prey for ransomware attacks.
One need not look far to know the US public sector is in the midst of a ransomware epidemic. Near-weekly headlines demonstrate government organizations at the school district, municipal, state, and federal levels are an increasingly attractive target for cyber exploitation. And with the steady rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), that risk is only growing. To put the threat in perspective, every US state except one has suffered at least one ransomware attack since 2013. Many have suffered multiple. In fact, state and local government networks are twice as likely as their commercial counterparts to be infected with ransomware or malware.
With these attacks come serious setbacks – and not just those that can be measured in dollars and cents. On average, ransomware attacks cost US public sector organizations $2.3 million; they also result in unrecoverable downtime, interruptions to critical constituent services, and the loss of sensitive data and public trust. Government organizations of all sizes can not afford to let this epidemic persist. Yet chronically understaffed IT departments and limited budgets can make protecting against ransomware and its consequences seem like an overwhelming endeavor. With the right cyber solutions in place, however, it needn’t be.