Unsurprisingly, we have another ransomware attack on the books. Yesterday, a malicious link was sent to staff at a US natural gas facility. As a result, staff was forced to shut down the entire pipeline asset for two days.

Facility Inadequately Prepared

This organization was simply not prepared for this sort of an attack. CISA stated, regarding the issue, “The victim cited gaps in cybersecurity knowledge and the wide range of possible scenarios as reasons for failing to adequately incorporate cybersecurity into emergency response planning.” CISA encourages all organizations to have a plan that considers the effects of these attacks. Companies should see this as a warning of the ways that ransomware can affect operations.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim in exchange for access to the data. This kind of malware can be devastating to an organization, and recovery has proven to be a very difficult process. Some victims pay the ransom in an effort to recover the files, but even then, there are no guarantees victims will get their files back.

Ransomware Doesn’t Have to End in Disaster

In contrast to the incident at the natural gas facility, Kern Medical Center, a large Level II trauma healthcare organization in Bakersfield, California experienced a ransomware attack in June that penetrated their system, deeming it unusable. An attack on a healthcare facility obviously raises significant concerns because the systems need to be readily available at all times to ensure patient survival. Kern Medical Center had a data recovery plan in place, and as a result, they were able to get their systems up and running quickly while recovering 100% of their data. What could have been a devastating event, ended up being a situation completely under control.

Craig Witmer, CTO of Kerns Medical Center claims that “With our legacy system, restores could take hours— even if we had the necessary tapes onsite. Rubrik allows us to restore in seconds.” He also noted that an important feature of the technology, is the at-a-glance view. With Rubrik, they are able to check all their systems in just a few minutes.

The difference in the preparedness of these two organizations is significant. Ransomware attacks are becoming more and more deliberate. It would be highly beneficial for every company to have a plan in place in an effort to keep their data safe.