Merriam Webster defines hiatus as “an interruption in time or continuity” (Yes, I just started this blog entry with a definition). And that is indeed what I did. I took a brief break from blogging during the Covid-19 pandemic. After all, this is a self-funded passion project geared towards bringing attention and awareness to cybersecurity issues affecting all levels of governments. However, while I went on a brief hiatus during the pandemic, cybercriminals amped up their efforts creating a sort of “Cyber Pandemic“. These cyberattacks were not just against hospitals and other health agencies, but governments were attacked as well. Dr. Eytan said it best in his article for Forbes:
Recent research by Barracuda Networks indicates that 44% of global ransomware attacks in 2020 targeted municipalities. With nearly half of all ransomware attacks targeting municipalities, one would hope there would be a coordinated push toward enhancing cyber preparedness, but recent studies have indicated that while the risks remain high, the appetite and budgets to mitigate them remain lacking.Eytan, D. O. (2021, June 22). Council post: Municipal cyberattacks: A new threat or Persistent risk? Forbes.
But should local governments spend more on cybersecurity versus repairing those potholes? Maybe, but let’s not break the bank. Local governments can make simple changes in the form of policy and prevention without spending tons of money. Please see the sections entitled “Recommendations” and “Recommendations for Small Local Governments” from A Look at Local Government Cybersecurity in 2020 for more information. A good cybersecurity response plan and having adequate cybersecurity insurance goes a long way.