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Smart investments for getting ahead of ransomware

Palo Alto Networks recently commissioned research with the Center for Digital Government (CDG) to conduct a national survey of 200 state and local government leaders on the topic of ransomware. The goal was to gain insight into the effects of remote work on cybersecurity, assess respondents’ confidence in their organization’s ability to protect from a ransomware attack, and better understand respondents’ current and planned strategies for combating ransomware.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly 80 percent of survey respondents said they do not think the threat of ransomware will decrease significantly over the next 12 to 18 months.

  • Although cybersecurity budgets have increased, respondents may not be as prepared as they need to be to protect against the increasing volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks. Less than half of respondents have a ransomware incident response plan.

  • Recent stimulus funding and passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act present important opportunities to address gaps in cybersecurity. Survey respondents said investing in new technology, augmenting staff capabilities and working with third-party experts will be crucial to protect against ransomware attacks.

  • When asked what organizations could do to better protect against ransomware attacks, the top two answers were: provide employees with security for their home networks (41%) and hire more IT staff (37%).