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Ransomware Prevention Training: IBM Government Survey Reveals Gaps

Ransomware is a top concern among government workers, according to the IBM 2020 Public Sector Security Survey of 690 U.S. state and local government employees.

Public Sector Security Survey results included:

  • 73 percent of government employees said they are concerned about impending ransomware threats to cities across the country.
  • yet only 38 percent stated they receive general ransomware prevention training.
  • 17 percent indicated their department has been affected by a ransomware attack.

Furthermore, most government employees said they believe the federal government should take action to help communities combat ransomware and other cyberattacks, the survey revealed.

How Can the Federal Government Protect Communities Against Cyberattacks?

Approximately 78 percent of government employees said they believe the federal government should provide assistance to communities in responding to cyberattacks, the survey indicated. In addition, 76 percent believe cyberattacks warrant emergency support comparable to that provided during natural disasters.

Meanwhile, 70 percent of government workers believe their employers are taking the threat of cyberattacks seriously, the survey indicated. IBM also is encouraging U.S. cities to create and implement incident response plans, perform threat simulations and explore other ways to improve cybersecurity preparedness.

How Much Will Cybercriminals Demand from Ransoms in 2020?

Cybercriminals' ransomware demands could exceed $1.4 billion in the United States this year, according to a report released earlier this month by anti-malware and antivirus software company Emsisoft. Yet there are many things that organizations can do to guard against ransomware and other cyberattacks, such as:

  • Develop and execute an emergency response plan.
  • Leverage emergency response playbooks.
  • Educate employees about cyberattacks.
  • Deploy spam filters to prevent phishing emails from reaching end-users.
  • Filter network traffic.

MSSPs also can provide endpoint detection and response (EDR) services, threat intelligence and other security offerings that enable organizations to quickly identify and address cyberattacks. In doing so, MSSPs can help organizations limit the impact of cyberattacks.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.