In response to the incident that Atlanta ransomware attack that saw residents unable to pay their water bills or parking tickets, while police and other public sector employees were having to write out their reports by hand, Channel 2 Action News has signed eight emergency contracts in response to the attack, including two $1 million agreements with private technology firms to assist the city’s information management and municipal court systems. Ilia Kolochenko, CEO at High-Tech Bridge commented below.
Ilia Kolochenko, CEO at High-Tech Bridge:
“The ethical dilemma whether to pay or not to pay a ransom becomes very complicated today. This incident is a very colorful, albeit sad, example that refusing to pay a ransom may be economically impractical and detrimental for the victims.
Taking into consideration the scope and the disastrous consequences of this incident, one may reasonably suggest that Atlanta has a lot of space for improvement in cybersecurity and incident response.
Spending 50 times more money to remediate the consequences of the attack, instead of investing the same money into prevention of further incidents, is at least questionable. While refusing to pay a ransom will unlikely demotivate cybercriminals to conduct further attacks, as they will always find someone else to pay.
Of course, when evaluating the possible avenues of ransomware responses, one should take into consideration all relevant factors and circumstances. However, in some cases, paying a ransom – is the best scenario for a company and its economic interests. Otherwise, you risk spending a lot of valuable resources with no substantial outcome.”