Phoenix Technology Group: Blog

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Dawn of the New Age of Conflict: Lessons from Colorado’s recent cyberattacks

The upward trend continues for cybersecurity incidents. Colorado alone has faced many incidents over the last two years that should prompt all individuals in the private and public sectors to take notice and make a plan to mitigate any downtime an incident could cause for internal employees as well as public services.

The BlackCat ransomware attacks that hit Fremont and Wheat Ridge recently demonstrate why you should care enough to be prepared.

August 2021: BlackCat ransomware hits Fremont County

Ransom: 2.5 Million (unpaid)

  • Downtime: 1 month (official), though due to the need to rebuild the systems, many of Fremont’s services were down for many more months.
  • Implications: Public services were down for several months, interrupting local residents and their industries. This attack exposed some personal information of county employees and residents. The county likely will have some portion of their old data that is permanently unrecoverable due to their need to rebuild systems.
  • Fremont’s Lessons Learned:https://fremontcountyco.state.co.us/cyber-safety-tips
    • Choose Strong Passwords
    • Practice Caution with USB Drives
    • Back Up Your Files
    • Install Antivirus/AntiMalware Software
    • Beware of Phishing
    • Avoid Social Engineering
    • Use Spam Filters
    • Check Social Media Settings
    • Be Wary of Phone Calls & Text Messages

September 2022: BlackCat ransomware strikes Wheat Ridge

  • Ransom: $5 million
  • Implications: Wheat Ridge indicates that they now understand these issues are less about “If” and more about “when.” They also have learned that “recovery takes longer than you think.”
  • Wheat Ridge’s Lessons Learned: https://coloradoccma.org/wp-content/uploads/Wheat-Ridge-vs-Black-Cat.pdf
  • Start Using a Password Manager
  • Join the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC): https://www.cisecurity.org/ms-isac
  • Sign up with Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA): https://www.cisa.gov/
  • Leverage SANS.org: https://www.sans.org
  • Turn on MFA
  • KnowBe4 Training
  • Find Local Cybersecurity Groups

October 2022: Killnet hackers take down Colorado.gov

The most recent major cyberattack hit Colorado when a foreign group known as Killnet claimed responsibility for taking down Colorado.gov, the homepage for the state’s online services. The attack was part of a multi-state campaign by the Russian-speaking hackers, who said they were retaliating against NATO countries for their support of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. The attack only affected the main directory page, while other state services were still available through their individual websites. The state’s IT department restored the homepage within two days and said no data was compromised.

Unsure where to start?

Frustrated and overworked businessman burying his head uner a laptop computer asking for help

Wheat Ridge Recommends Asking Your IT Leadership These Questions

  • What is our backup strategy?
  • Are our systems currently supported?
  • Does our team have the right skills to support our environment?
  • Have we tested our network? If so, when and what did we learn?
  • What are our Recovery Time (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)?
  • What is keeping us from implementing MFA? Are our MFA settings appropriate?
  • Do we have a current system inventory?
  • What is our information governance policy?
  • Do our password policies conform to best practices?
  • Do we have shared accounts, especially with admin rights or old passwords?
  • Who has administrative rights?
  • How do we control access through our network?
  • What is exposed to the Internet?
Phoenix

Phoenix

At Phoenix Technology Group, we have a set of core business values that define our approach to IT solutions. We prioritize quality over cost, ensuring that we never compromise on the standard of our services. By making smart investments and implementing efficient systems, we save money without sacrificing excellence. Customer service is ingrained in everything we do, as we believe in establishing long-term relationships to support your business goals and future aspirations.