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A hack close to home: parking garage hit with ransomware

Our parking garage was hacked leading to free parking but huge headaches.
By Spencer Callaghan
Director, Brand & Communications

Our parking garage was hacked leading to free parking but huge headaches.

We get it. It gets to be annoying when every blog, whitepaper, case study, sales deck, infographic, webinar, tweetstorm, memo, treatise, and report is telling you just how vulnerable you are to being hacked.

And then you come into work one morning and the parking garage has been hacked.

That’s right, this morning the barriers to the CIRA parking garage were lifted and everyone was saved five seconds of their day by not having to scan their parking pass. What a nice little treat to start the day.

However, a closer look revealed the true source of the problem, not a power failure, mechanical issue or system crash—the automated parking system had been hit with ransomware.

To clarify, the parking garage is run by a separate company, CIRA has not been impacted, but it just goes to show how commonplace these hacks have become. Dozens of employee credit cards are possibly in that database which will undoubtedly reclaim all the time we will save over the coming days in not having to scan our parking passes.

We have no way of knowing what cybersecurity measures parking company has in place, but as we saw in our CIRA Cybersecurity Survey, 37 per cent of businesses don’t have anti-malware protection installed and 71 per cent did not have a formal patching policy. Hackers are starting to exploit those gaps at companies of all sizes and industries. The problem is no longer exclusive to large corporations or data-rich organizations. The tools hackers use are cheap, easy to find, and simple to use, which makes hacking for fun or profit easier than ever.

This is why defence-in-depth is so important, multiple layers of security, including a DNS firewall, ensure that you have no single point of failure and that each layer overlaps with the next.

So while free parking for a few days might not be all that bad, the cleanup from this hack may end up being the true cost.

Curious about how a defence-in-depth strategy that includes DNS-level protection can help your organization? Start a free trial of D-Zone DNS Firewall today.

About the author
Spencer Callaghan

Spencer Callaghan is the senior manager, brand & communications at CIRA. He is a writer, former journalist, and has experience in technology, non-profit, and agency environments throughout his career. His areas of expertise include content marketing, social media, branding, and public relations.