Ransomware Attack Hits Bexar County Appraisal District
You undoubtedly heard about the ransomware attack against the Bexar County Appraisal District (BCAD) March 2022. Unfortunately, there were few details provided, but BCAD has said customers can still use their website while they recover.
As citizens and people possibly interested in starting a cyber career, you may have questions such as: “How do these ransomware attacks work? Don’t we have protective systems that prevent this type of attack? Doesn’t the county have people watching for attacks like this to stop them?”
Answering the first question relies on your basic understanding of computer, network, and data security. For example, you train for a driver’s license, get one, put gas in a car, hit the pedals, and manage the steering wheel. But do you know how your front-wheel-drive works? Do you know how electronic fuel injection works? Usually, you don’t until something terrible happens, and you suddenly want to learn more.
You’re also curious about protective systems. And you’re confident the county has some protective measures to prevent this incident. Why did they fail in this case? To learn about these types of systems, you need to develop your understanding of cyber to realize that while these systems can and do a lot of automated detection and prevention, it still requires people to monitor, maintain and tweak those systems to do the best job possible. It needs people who have developed their cyber and cyber security skills from the ground up.
Lastly, you’re probably asking, “What about the people who are supposed to stop these attacks? Are there enough of them? Can I become one of them?” The answer is that many people in different roles play a part in helping prevent ransomware attacks and responding to cyber threats and incidents. However, it’s also true the nation needs many more to come close to pulling even with the global cyber threat.
Keep in mind that IT, cyber defense tools, processes, procedures, and other technology are invented, created, integrated, operated, and maintained by different cyber people all along the way. If interested, you need to find someone who can guide you through getting started and working your way up to the Cyber First Responder role or help identify which parts appeal to you most.