Even before the recent ransomware attack on the City of Atlanta, both county- and city-level governments in Bartow have been taking precautionary steps to protect their electronic information from hackers.
In the wake of that major security breach, however, there’s a renewed focus on upgrading and safeguarding Bartow’s municipal cyber-infrastructure — although most local governments are still without a formal policy to respond to potential ransomware incidents.
A relatively new form of hacking, ransomware entails the installation of malicious software on hardware that either locks users out of their systems or encrypts their files to be inaccessible until a payment is made.
The cyberattack on Atlanta is but the latest in a series of such ransomware incidents. Last year’s WannaCry attack hit more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, affecting The Boeing Company, FedEx and Honda, among many other corporations. That same year, the NotPetya attack cost pharmaceutical titan Merck Co. more than