Florida City Pays $600,000 Ransomware Demand

Florida City Pays $600,000 Ransomware Demand

By Chris Brunau

A recent ransomware attack has turned to the worst case scenario for a Florida city.

Riviera Beach is paying $600,000 worth of bitcoin in hopes to regain access to their computer systems after being infected with ransomware through a phishing email. Law enforcement suggests never to pay ransomware perpetrators as to not encourage them.

This is one of the highest-reported ransomware payments in recent history. However, as we found in Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report, the initial ransom demand is typically not what breaks the bank. Instead, the aftermath and cost of downtime are the crippling factors. MSPs report the average requested a ransom for SMBs is ~$4,300 while the average cost of downtime related to a ransomware attack is ~$46,800.

Of course, agreeing to pay does NOT guarantee the hackers will decrypt their files. As we have said countless times, the best way to fight ransomware is by protecting your files and systems and preventing the ransomware from claiming your company as its victim. This is done with a multilayered approach:

  • Use a good quality antivirus program, and patch and update operating systems regularly
  • Educate your users about ransomware and how to detect phishing and social engineering schemes
  • Back up files often — and automatically. While the backup does not prevent infiltration, it does give you an out — instead of paying the ransom, you can restore to your pre-attack status

To learn more about the current landscape of ransomware and how you can avoid falling victim, check out the full report today.

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