In 2020, the number of cyber attacks was multiplied by 4 during periods of containment (source: ANSII). That same year, no less than 14 town halls were hacked in France. In a context where the organization of work is undergoing radical change with, in particular, the development of teleworking, and where the exchange of digital information continues to grow, the security and protection of vulnerable data is more essential than ever. an obligation. But then, why has the current context amplified cyber attacks against cities and communities? How to work, share, disseminate and collaborate while protecting your information system?
Appeared at the same time as the Covid19, the epidemic of cyber attacks is developing more and more and now concerns large companies, SMEs and VSEs as much as communities. The 2020 results are unequivocal: a fourfold increase in attacks. Among the targets, many cities and communities of which at least fifteen would have suffered a “ransomware” attack. The principle: the hacker finds a way to infiltrate a network, map it and destroy the backups. It then launches the ransomware which encrypts and makes the data inaccessible. To recover them, the payment of a ransom is required, in the majority of cases in cryptocurrency. According to the 2020 report from Clusif (French Information Security Club), “ a majority (53%) of communities do not communicate about the ransomware attacks suffered “. If we take the example of the town hall of Angers, even if it made sure to benefit from a “secure” backup of all its data, the attack of which it was the victim had consequences. direct on the functioning of the administration which could not be contacted by email for several hours.
Cyber attacks by ransomware (or ransomware) are more and more frequent and it is now imperative for structures (companies and institutions) to anticipate them. Experts recommend, for protection, to back up data outside the network or to use professional software to automatically disconnect from the network after backup. Paying the ransom is by no means recommended because paying does not prove that the data will be returned to its owner. On the other hand, paying proves that one is an ideal target for this type of behavior, which therefore risks recurring in the future.
It is advisable to apply a strategy somewhat similar to the famous “test, alert, protect” of the government in the context of the fight against Covid19: “anticipate, protect, safeguard” is essential as a mantra in the fight against ransomware epidemic.
In order for the new protective measures to be respected, the human factor must not be neglected. Strongly impacted by health measures and the new work organizations resulting from them, employees have had and still need directives in order to support the change. As teleworking is set to last for many more months, communities, like businesses, have every interest in putting in place action plans and large-scale strategies to avoid hackers as much as possible.
It is also important to raise awareness of the reasons behind these measures in order to ensure a full understanding of the usefulness of digital security by all. In addition, it is important to respect barrier gestures in the fight against ransomware: systematic updates of software and in particular of operating systems, limitation of administrator rights, or even regular backups in a space disconnected from the general information system. In this context, many solutions exist and can be provided to applicants by cybersecurity professionals.