Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is encouraging Florida League of Cities and Florida Association of Counties officials to take advantage of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) resources to bolster cybersecurity efforts.
Rubio recently forwarded correspondence to both organizations in response to reports two Florida cities used taxpayer funds to pay cybercriminals following ransomware attacks, officials said, adding Rubio urged local governments to take advantage of resources to prevent future attacks.
“The Department’s Cybersecurity Advisors offer assistance to help prepare and protect private sector entities and governments from cybersecurity threats,” the senator wrote. “These advisors promote cybersecurity preparedness, risk mitigation, and incident response capabilities, working to engage stakeholders through partnership and direct assistance activities.”
Rubio wrote it is a collective responsibility to ensure federal, state and local governments are protecting their networks, educating their workforces and implementing the best cyber practices throughout all government organizations, noting he appreciates ongoing efforts to further the shared goals.
Rubio recently released a statement regarding the ransomware attack on Riviera Beach, FL, impacted the city’s computer systems and resulted in the city paying hackers nearly $600,000 to restore the network.
“My office is in contact with the local government, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security regarding the recent ransomware attack on Riviera Beach,” Rubio said. “That taxpayers had to pay nearly $600,000 in ransom to cyber-criminals is unacceptable. These attacks will only become more common unless we take action.”