ransomware, cyber security, cyber strategy, password protection, data breach


Ransomware is a strategic threat to government, business, and academic organizations. It has both short term and long term consequences, requiring strategic planning to create defenses, assess options, and create policies.

The purpose of the study is to answer three questions: What is the strategic risk of cyberattack to organizations? What are the current attitudes and practices of executives who are vulnerable to such threats? What are specific options that organizations should consider to prevent and deal with possible incidents in the future? The article is thus comprised of the following components: A) a history of the development and complexity of ransomware; B) a survey of IT professionals in government, business and education; and C) recommended strategic options for organizations to defend against cyber threats.

We conducted a survey of ninety-two cybersecurity professionals in government, education, and business. Attitudinal divergence occurred in the areas of cyber-defense, perpetrator negotiations, ransom payment, and involvement of law enforcement. The authors recommend thirteen specific solutions to assist organizations when dealing with ransomware.

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