By Kyle Cashion

Large and small businesses, individuals, and municipalities have fallen victim to a new kind of attack known as “ransomware.”

Ransomware, as its name indicates, encrypts your files or locks you out of your computer until you pay a ransom. Often the extortionists demand to be paid in an untraceable electronic currency known as bitcoin. Once the ransom has been paid, sometimes the criminals send the key to unlock your files and sometimes they don’t.

Several major hospitals were recently forced to revert to paper patient records after their corporate systems were locked by ransomware. Similarly, a parking operator with more than 100 locations had its monthly parker records encrypted, and much information was lost. Officials of the city of Plainfield, N.J., found themselves locked out of 10 years’ worth of memos and documents, and Detroit’s entire city database was locked by malicious software.

How can your parking organization avoid and fight back against ransomware? Read the rest of this article in the June issue of The Parking Professionalhere.

Kyle Cashion is a principal of IntegraPark, LLC.