December 14, 2019
New Orleans Declares State of Emergency After Ransomware Attack
New Orleans has declared a state of emergency after a recent cyber attack hit the city. The city noticed phishing attempts and suspicious activity eventually resulting in a ‘cybersecurity incident’ which forced them to shut down servers and city computers as a precaution to prevent the attack from spreading any further.
According to New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the city detected ransomware on their systems but there was no ransom demand. Louisiana State Police, Louisiana National Guard, the FBI, and Secret Service are all assisting in the investigation as the story develops.
In response to the recent increase in ransomware attacks, the FBI released some cyber-defense best practices:
- Regularly back up data and verify its integrity. Ensure backups are not connected to the computers and networks they are backing up. For example, physically store them offline. Backups are critical in ransomware; if you are infected, backups may be the best way to recover your critical data.
- Focus on awareness and training. Since end-users are targeted, employees should be made aware of the threat of ransomware and how it is delivered and trained on information security principles and techniques.
- Patch the operating system, software, and firmware on devices. All endpoints should be patched as vulnerabilities are discovered. This can be made easier through a centralized patch management system.
- Ensure anti-virus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and that regular scans are conducted.
To learn more about the current landscape of ransomware and how you can avoid falling victim, check out Datto's State of the Channel Ransomware Report.