Study: Americans won’t vote for candidates who approve ransomware payments

Government
officials’ decisions related to cybersecurity actively impact voting decisions
among Americans, according to a recent study.

Awareness about cyber-security among U.S. residents today so high that Americans are now using this knowledge as a factor in their decision making. New research by The Harris Poll reveals that 64% of registered voters will not vote for candidates who approve of making ransomware payments. The results undoubtedly reflect the public opinion regarding recent ransomware attacks targeting U.S. municipalities.

Ransomware
operators have collected more than a million dollars from just two attacks on
the Florida cities of Riviera Beach and Lake City. Wanting to see their
taxpayer money spent more wisely, 79% of registered voters will now consider
candidates’ stances on cybersecurity when making future voting decisions,
according to the study.

66% of
Americans believe that government organizations should never make ransomware
payments to cyber criminals, a stance shared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
and the National Conference of Mayors alike. As for businesses, 64% of
Americans believe they should never
make ransomware payments to cyber criminals, period. Asked to elaborate, 86% reasoned
that when organizations make ransomware payments, they are encouraging cyber
criminals to continue with such attacks.

Furthermore,
70% of respondents agree that when organizations do make ransomware payments to
cyber criminals, it is likely because they were left with no other choice. And 1
in 5 Americans have experienced a ransomware attack on a personal and/or work
device. Of those who experienced an attack on a work device, 46% say their
company paid the ransom.

Finally, the
survey also revealed that Americans would support a federal income tax to hep
fund government efforts to defend against cyber-attacks.

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