California County Focuses on Recovery After Ransomware Attack

(TNS) — According to county spokesman Russ Brown, Yuba County was recently targeted by a ransomware cyberattack that infected parts of the county’s computer system with malware.

The malware encrypted the affected system and the attacker demanded payment from the county to obtain the decryption key. According to Brown, the county did not pay the attackers.

“The county has taken immediate steps to isolate the affected computers while at the same time maintaining service to the population,” Brown said in an email. “The most important servers were the recoverable backups that the county used to recover those servers and services.”

The county has signed a contract with a cybersecurity company and has begun investigating the case. Since the attack, staff have worked directly with state agencies to maintain services available to residents by using resources provided by other counties.

“The county continues to work to bring all systems and services up and running,” Brown said. “At this point, most of the computer services provided by the county have been restored, and the rest will be restored soon.”

As the number of teleworkers and businesses increases, the threat of cyberattacks like Yuba County is increasing.

Chayney Pascua belongs to Adept Solutions, a Yuba City-based information technology and computer services company. She said ransomware has become a lucrative business for cybercriminals. Unpatched security updates open the door to hackers to the system.

“I think email fraud is on the rise,” said Steven Claus, Adept’s technical services team. “Users are more likely to rely on email to tell things, and are less likely to meet or meet in person in the hall, so malicious attackers can use it to spoof or engage in conversation. I’m throwing. “

IT services company Alliant Networking Services, Inc. Christopher Lewis said ransomware attacks accelerated by pandemics have increased in recent years. According to Lewis, there have been numerous recent attacks on small businesses, medical groups and local governments in the area of ​​alliance services.

“Companies needed to quickly prepare traditional office staff for telecommuting, which inevitably took a shortcut,” Lewis said in an email. “This doesn’t mean that ransomware won’t be an issue without the move to telecommuting, but it has given the attacker a new vector to the business network.”

Pascua said people are the weakest link in most hacks through phishing.

“Social engineering threats manipulate users with the ultimate goal of disclosing sensitive information and exposing internal data,” Pasqua said in an email.

Other threats include phishing and passwords obtained through vendors and contractors causing serious breaches. According to Lewis, the most dangerous scenario for a business is getting employees to use a computer for business-related activities.

Corporate suggestions from Adept and Alliant include providing corporate devices, deploying powerful firewalls with active monitoring capabilities, outsourcing to computer network security specialists, implementing remote work policies, and implementing terms of use. This includes separating and creating work data and employee personal data. Keep reporting procedures in the event of a breach, keep files and applications cloud-based, use additional backups, require system security awareness training, and limit access to those who need to know their privileges.

“When we talk about protecting business continuity related to computer and network capabilities, it must be divided into two parts: how to protect yourself from breaches and how to recover after being breached.” Lewis said.

According to experts, when it comes to what individuals can do, password protect, enable automatic screen locks on all devices, update the system with the latest security updates, install security applications, and send encrypted emails. Use, use encryption on your hard drive, and use strong passwords. And enable password managers, multi-factor authentication, verify that emails come from you, and enhance communication and collaboration through programs such as Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and Sharepoint.

“The most common misconception I witness is that companies don’t value IT, they just consider it as a cost,” says Lewis. “… Focusing on getting everything to work, we overlook the fact that computers and their capabilities are constantly evolving, which means that attackers are also evolving.”

Another misconception, according to Lewis, is that small businesses don’t have to worry as much as large companies, and antivirus software is sufficient.

“Security of an organization’s IT infrastructure is a team effort,” says Lewis. “IT may deploy systems to protect networks, but end users need to take responsibility for their computer habits.”

© 2021 The Appeal-Distributed by Democrat, Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

California County Focuses on Recovery After Ransomware Attack

Source link California County Focuses on Recovery After Ransomware Attack

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