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5 Things Ransomware Taught Me About Responding in a Crisis

Updated: May 1, 2023

What happened in Atlanta is worth studying because it was one of the earliest cases of a major city ransomware attacks and because it came out the other side stronger and more resilient.

When I first flew to Atlanta in March 2018, the city was in crisis. It had been hit by a massive ransomware attack, one that took down multiple critical departments and systems and made headlines around the country. 

It's a story that's unfortunately repeated itself around the country since, with ransomware attacks hitting Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore, Md.; Lakeland, Fla., and many more. In total, ransomware hit more than 70 state and local governments in 2019. 

The recovery from this large of an attack isn't easy by any means, but the city rallied behind its new CIO Gary Brantley to make it happen. He was brought in after the city's digital infrastructure had been stabilized and had been charged with ensuring such an event would not happen again. 

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