Recently, cyber criminals have found ransomware opportunities within small towns and municipalities. Last year, there were more than 70 ransomware attacks just in the beginning of 2019, and more than 50 of those attacks targeted cities.

Disaster in Galt

Galt California, a small town about 25 miles from Sacramento fell victim to a ransomware attack earlier this year. After a city employee clicked on a link that was disguised as a message from another Galt City Employee, malware spread through the city’s entire system. “It encrypted critical files that knocked several key phone lines out of service, including the non-emergency number for the Galt Police Department, the emergency outage line for Public Works and the main numbers for City Hall and the finance division.” (Small Town Nearly Done Recovering from Ransomware Attack)

Thomas Haglund, the Interim City Manager said “We never had any intention of paying the ransom. We consulted with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security who told us that even if we pay a ransom, hackers could have blatantly planted malware in a system to steal data.” 

It has now been several months since the attack, and Galt is still trying to get back on their feet. Approximately 85% of Galt’s systems have been rebuilt and restored, while the remaining 15% are currently in the process of being built. Haglund also disclosed the total incurred cost to restore the city systems is about $758,000, a large number for a small city that already has a stressed budget.

Members of the community have expressed frustration because these were “funds that could go to the schools, police, [and] more appropriate places.”

Small towns are at risk

Unfortunately, smaller locations are at particular risk because these towns typically do not have the resources or technology to protect them against ransomware attacks. 

Small governments host services that are critical to everyday life–court records, utility bills, emergency services, etc. These cities may be more likely to pay the ransom in an effort to get their systems up and running as quickly as possible. Small governments also may not have IT resources or personnel that may not understand a sophisticated cyberattack.

Move forward with confidence

The increasing news of ransomware attacks devastating small towns and cities is both frightening and overwhelming. In this day and age, whether you are as large as Las Vegas or as small as Galt, California, you are at risk for a potential ransomware attack and you need to be prepared. 

Trinsio provides data management solutions, including data backup and recovery. With immutability for ransomware, you can be sure your data will be protected in the event of an attack. We know and understand that data management may be overwhelming, especially if you are a small city that may not completely understand it. Trinsio will guide you, step-by-step, to first understand your data, then create a plan to protect it specifically tailored to you. 

As a Rubrik strategic partner, your small town or city can utilize the exact same industry leading technology that Las Vegas uses, but for a price that is affordable for you.