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The risks of ransomware, and tips to prevent and handle an attack

Do your part. Be cyber smart.

As the city of Lake City, Florida, learned two years ago, anyone connected to the internet is at risk of a ransomware attack. Through a spear phishing email, an attacker gained access to and held hostage the city’s systems until a $460,000 ransom was paid.

Ransomware can cause serious damage to your data and devices, as well as financial loss and other, more significant consequences. If it infects a University of Utah network or device, it also can severely impact the university’s data, infrastructure, operations, and services. In Lake City’s case, such IT infrastructure as computers, email, phones, and photocopiers did not work after the attacker locked out city officials.

Since ransomware attacks usually start with malware sent in a phishing email, you can help prevent an information security incident by following the tips provided in the cybersecurity basics and phishing fundamentals articles. Here are some additional ways to identify, prevent, and handle a ransomware attack.

If everyone does their part, the University of Utah and University of Utah Health will be safer and more secure for our students, patients, faculty, staff, and guests.

Do your part. Be cyber smart.

Learn more: Cybersecurity Awareness Month

This October, please consider taking a few moments to visit the Information Security Office’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month website and check up on your digital hygiene. Topics include:

We’ll also be sharing tips and resources throughout the month on Twitter. Follow @uofu_iso and #BeCyberSmart to join the conversation.