How tech companies can step up after latest ransomware attack

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD manager

Most of us are still reeling from the turmoil brought on by the WannaCry malware last weekend. While most of you reading were not directly affected, the global scale of the ransomware attack cannot be ignored. Even though our federal, state and local governments were spared the brunt of the attacks, they are, by no means, immune to the dangers posed by ransomware.

Some sectors of government are more vulnerable than others and so the IT industry, particularly those companies specializing in anti-ransomware solutions, should be aware of these distinctions.

Health care

The health care industry, for example, will remain a major target for ransomware attacks. The amount of personal information and relatively open networks are just too tempting for hackers. Also, ransomware protection is increasingly needed for physical, yet connected, devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps.

And so, federal organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Defense Health Agency and the National Institutes of Health, as well as health care agencies at the state and local level, are especially vulnerable to ransomware attempts and receptive to solutions that help harden their systems against the threat.

State and local

State and local governments are more likely to be hit with ransomware than the federal government and hackers have even successfully extracted payments from district governments for their data! Fortunately, those were low impact events but remember, state and local governments have a major role in protecting our critical infrastructure. State and local governments are expected to spend over $100 billion this year on IT and all districts see cybersecurity as a top priority.

Still, the uneven distribution of effective security across local districts coupled with the ability for ransomware variants to quickly spread should make state and local governments the first stop for vendors with anti-ransomware solutions.

One of the best ways for federal, state and local agencies to mitigate ransomware attacks is knowledge of their data ecosystem, more specifically, what data they have, where it is located, how it is used and if it is backed up. Companies that specialize in risk and vulnerability management, as well as backup and recovery solutions are well positioned to help agencies address their vulnerabilities and develop contingency plans.

Want more guidance on selling cybersecurity solutions to government? Learn more about immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team.

About Lloyd McCoy Jr.
Lloyd McCoy is the Department of Defense Consultant on the Market Intelligence team. Prior to working for immixGroup, he worked in the public sector as a senior analyst with the Defense Department. Lloyd primarily monitors and analyzes issues relating to the Navy/Marine Corps, Defense Health Agency, and the Defense Information Systems Agency

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