The Dallas Ransomware Attack: Lessons Learned and How Businesses Can Prepare for IT Outages

On May 3rd, 2023

The City of Dallas, Texas, fell victim to a large-scale cyber attack that left the city’s IT services in shambles. The attack, which was perpetrated using the Royal Ransomware, affected various systems, including the city’s emergency alert system and online payment processing systems. As a result, the city was forced to shut down its servers to contain the damage and prevent further spread.

The city’s IT department is currently working to restore the affected systems and services, but it’s expected to take some time before everything is up and running again. The attack is believed to have been carried out by a group of hackers who demanded a ransom in exchange for the decryption key to unlock the encrypted files. The city refused to pay the ransom and instead opted to restore the affected systems from backups.

As the City of Dallas works to get back on its feet, it’s essential to understand that this kind of attack can happen to any organization, regardless of size or industry. Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to prepare for worst-case scenarios such as this. 


Here are a few tips to help business users navigate their operations without the internet.

1. Have a Backup Plan

Businesses should have a backup plan in place in case of a network outage or a cyber attack. This plan should include a backup power source, such as a generator, and a backup internet connection, such as a mobile hotspot. It’s also crucial to have a contingency plan for critical operations, such as payment processing and customer communication.


2. Implement Offline Systems

Offline systems can be a lifesaver in the event of a cyber attack or network outage. These systems should include paper-based records of critical business information, such as customer information, inventory records, and financial records. By having offline systems in place, businesses can continue to operate even when internet connectivity is lost.


3. Train Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices

One of the most significant vulnerabilities of any organization is its employees. It’s essential to train employees on cybersecurity best practices to reduce the risk of a cyber attack. This training should include how to identify phishing emails and suspicious links, the importance of strong passwords, and how to report a suspected security incident.

4. Regularly Back Up Data

Regular data backups can be a lifesaver in the event of a cyber attack or data loss. Businesses should regularly back up critical data and store it securely offsite or in the cloud. This will ensure that data can be restored in the event of an attack or system failure.


5. Consider Cybersecurity Insurance

Finally, businesses should consider investing in cybersecurity insurance. This insurance can help cover the costs associated with a cyber attack, such as data recovery, legal fees, and public relations efforts.

In Conclusion:

the cyber attack on the City of Dallas serves as a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity preparedness. Businesses of all sizes should take proactive steps to protect their data and operations from cyber threats. By having a backup plan, implementing offline systems, training employees on cybersecurity best practices, regularly backing up data, and considering cybersecurity insurance, businesses can better prepare for worst-case scenarios and continue to operate even when internet connectivity is lost.

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Eric Schwarz

Owner | IT Support and Security Engineer

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