Cyberattacks on local government in the U.S. have increased dramatically over the last several years. In 2019 alone, ransomware affected more than 100 state and local governments, according to Recorded Future — and that’s just one threat vector. Municipalities are also at risk from insider threats, coordinated attacks and other perils.
What is it about municipal organizations and local governments that makes them such attractive targets for threat actors? Why are cybercriminals directing greater attention and resources toward attacking them?
In short, local governments are extremely attractive targets because they store valuable data on government operations and the citizens they serve, they lack adequate funding and skills in their information security programs, and they often have to yield to criminals’ demands to ensure critical services stay online.