Massachusetts Steamship Authority Hit with Ransomware

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The ransomware attack that targeted the Massachusetts Steamship Authority last Wednesday is still affecting the ship’s operations on Thursday. The attack caused disruptions on the credit card transaction process, which only allowed cash payments to purchase tickets. The attack also limited the ability for customers to book or change reservations online or by phone.

This incident is just one of the latest events on the chain of cyberattacks experienced lately. Businesses are now realizing ransomware as a big risk. These cyberattacks are not focused on stealing sensitive data anymore, it has now evolved into business operations disruptions.

With the Internet of things (IoT) on the rise, it makes everything connected to the internet vulnerable to these types of attacks. Hackers can use any device that is hooked up to the company’s network as a gateway to infiltrate the system. The motive can either be to steal sensitive data, the ability to control connected devices or hold data for ransom.

It is not only businesses that are targeted by these hackers. There are plenty of devices that people use at home, which are connected online. Devices such as smart cameras, wi-fi enabled locks, smart thermostats, digital assistants such as Alexa, etc. are all vulnerable to cyberattacks.

You can take steps to mitigate the risks of getting hacked or lessen the impact in case of an attack. Some of these steps are:

Do not use common passwords or use passwords based on personal information such as birthdates, pet names, etc.A password manager is a good tool to use. Password managers auto-generate complicated passwords for you, encrypts and stores them securely, which only the user can access.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN protects your browsing history and personal information from hackers. When you are connected online, your personal and IP address information is shielded from unauthorized parties.

Keep your software updated. Software updates include vulnerability fixes that were not originally discovered during the initial software release. These vulnerabilities allow hackers to infiltrate the network with either ransomware or the ability to steal important data.

Keep an inventory of all IoTs that are connected to the network. Make sure employees obtain permission when using the company wi-fi when attaching personal devices. Keeping track of all connected devices makes it easy to identify where the breach comes from.

Contact Us and learn how we can help you implement these policies.