When a ransomware attack hit the state of Louisiana this week, affecting some of the state’s server computers, the government responded by taking its servers down. The move was a pre-emptive one, meant to prevent the ransomware from spreading to other state servers. While the move protected data, it also meant that agencies emails, websites and other online applications were shutdown, including the governor’s office, the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Family Services, just to name a few. The attack’s impact on the government highlights a key aspect of crisis preparedness: organizations shouldn’t solely rely on servers for their operations, especially when handling sensitive, private information. Instead, they should use the cloud or have an independent network available in order to handle that information and keep operations ongoing during a crisis.

 

DevOps Connect:DevSecOps @ RSAC 2022

The Problem with Servers

When an organization relies on servers if those servers get compromised then your system is down, making it difficult to keep operations ongoing. The Louisiana government was able to prevent the crisis from spreading because they shut down their servers, but it also meant that for several hours their residents lacked access to key services, including emergency hotlines. Using a server makes you vulnerable. When an organization relies on local servers, back up and retrieval are bulky to coordinate and if your system gets compromised you might not have a backup for recovery. In contrast, with the cloud back up is simple to initiate, making it easier to restore systems and keep operations ongoing.

 

Having an Alternative Network

But while using the cloud can help you resume operations quickly, the cloud can get compromised too, which is why it’s important to have an alternate communication channel that is secure and will make it possible to keep communications ongoing when attacks happen. In the case of Louisiana, employees resorted to using Gmail, which is insecure. During an attack, organizations need to be able to keep core operations ongoing and coordinate a response without placing any of the sensitive information they discuss at-risk. Using a secure, alternate communication channel ensures they can do that, reducing the amount of time they have to scramble to address the situation and get operations up and running.

 

Using the Right Tools

When it comes to preparing for a ransomware attack that could compromise your operations, picking the right tool to prepare is absolutely key. Vaporstream makes sure you can securely strategize your response and keep communications ongoing with clients and the public through direct messaging or broadcasts. With Vaporstream, you can automate messages during a crisis and escalate them, making sure the information goes to the right people. Using us, you can make sure any communications are a two-way—not only are you able to reach people quickly on any device, anywhere but they can respond, making sure key information is kept flowing. Learn how we can protect your operations and help you get back up and running here.