State chief information officers had a lot to say about recent government-focused ransomware attacks when they gathered at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear conference at the end of last month. Freshest on their minds were the incidents in Colorado, Baltimore and Atlanta, in which a $51,000 ransomware demand led to more than $2.5 million in contracts to respond.
The federated IT environment in Texas limits CIO Todd Kimbriel's direct responsibility should a state agency be hit with ransomware, though as he explains, "We do have some enterprise cybersecurity responsibility." In the video above, he outlines the nature of recent attacks, which he describes as "alarming," in that they demonstrate the growing sophistication of ransomware — a threat tech leaders previously could combat with robust backups.
"Of course when we came to understand exactly what the details were, we immediately worked with all of our agencies to ensure that we had all of those backup environments protected and made sure that the vulnerabilities that were taken advantage of against others could not be taken advantage of against us," Kimbriel added.