Imagine a malicious computer virus meticulously tailored for your organization, possessing a complete understanding of your software, hardware, and the configurations that could inflict maximum damage. This cyberthreat infiltrates your system with alarming precision, targeting the most vulnerable facets of your business, and wreaking havoc in its wake.

Such a scenario implies a disconcerting level of familiarity on the part of cybercriminals with your organization’s inner workings. It suggests either an insider aiding them or a compromise so severe that external actors have already breached the network and are working from the inside. At this juncture, the network is more theirs than yours.

From there the situation always deteriorates further.

Killware not only poses a threat to your business but aims to inflict widespread public harm, blending the realms of cybercrime and terrorism. This unsettling amalgamation has tangible consequences that transcend the digital realm in which it is deployed.

An Incident in Florida Tells You Everything You Need to Know

In 2021, Oldsmar, a small Florida city with nearly 15,000 residents, fell victim to a cyberattack targeting its water treatment plant. The assailants sought to manipulate the sodium hydroxide levels in the drinking water. Sodium hydroxide, when used in water treatment to regulate pH and curb lead corrosion, is safe in small quantities but can cause severe burns and permanent tissue damage in larger doses. The attack amplified the sodium hydroxide dosage a hundredfold.

Fortunately, vigilant staff at the water treatment plant detected the anomaly promptly, preventing any harm to the residents.

Cities and Local Governments are Constantly Targeted By Hackers

Over the years, several instances have highlighted malware disrupting city and town infrastructures. In 2018, Atlanta endured an attack that incapacitated over a third of its systems, incurring a staggering cost of over $17 million and more than a year for recovery. In 2019, Baltimore, Maryland faced a similar assault, impacting the state’s real estate market and various systems, with an estimated cost of $18 million.

Widespread Vulnerabilities in Many Public and Private Organizations

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns that critical services like hospitals, police departments, utilities, and other highly networked industries are potential targets for such attacks. To mitigate these risks, organizations must prioritize cybersecurity, conducting regular audits throughout the year. While adherence to industry compliance standards is a crucial initial step, businesses may find it necessary to elevate their security measures further based on their specific industry.

Regardless of your organization’s nature, safeguarding employees and customers is paramount. Setton Consulting stands ready to fortify your business, ensuring it remains resilient in the face of potential community-harming consequences arising from devastating cyberattacks. Give us a call at (212) 796-6061 today to learn more.