Borough of Westwood Suffers Malware Attack

Exploit: Ransomware
City of Riviera Beach: Local government organization serving Riviera Beach, Florida

Risk to Small Business: 1.555 = Severe: When a single employee clicked on a malicious email link containing ransomware, the city’s entire computer network was encrypted by ransomware. The encryption prevented the city from using email, logging 911 calls, or even controlling their water utilities. After spending nearly $1 million on new IT infrastructure, the city ultimately decided to pay the ransom, which cost $600,000 in Bitcoin. The payment, which will come from the city’s insurance provider, became necessary when the city discovered that it didn’t have adequate backups to restore vital information to this equipment.
Individual Risk: No personal information was compromised in the breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown
How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: A ransomware preparedness plan is a veritable must-have for every organization since cybersecurity threats should be considered a “when”, not an “if” proposition. Such plans should include adequate backups, which can allow cities to avoid paying a ransom, but also proper training to avoid the phishing emails that frequently deliver the ransomware. These preventative measures are significantly more affordable than the cost of a ransom payment and the ancillary opportunity costs that accompany such an attack.

Risk Levels:

1 - 1.5 = Extreme Risk
1.51 - 2.49 = Severe Risk
2.5 - 3 = Moderate Risk

*The risk score is calculated using a formula that considers a wide range of factors related to the assessed breach.

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