Don’t Be Held Hostage: Fighting Ransomware

By Larry Lee and Christopher Johnson

No municipality is immune from cyber-attack. Despite even the most ardent security efforts, local governments are at risk from sophisticated criminals set on extorting a ransom in exchange for restoring functionality.

In the July/August 2019 edition of Municipal Lawyer, “Ransomware and Local Governments: Do Not be Held Hostage!”, Larry Lee and Christopher Johnson draw from actual cyber-attacks and situations to shed light on the steps to take in reducing risk and resisting ransom demands, including:

  • •   Stay current with threats
  • •   Regular risk assessments to shore up weak points
  • •   Join membership information sharing consortiums
  • •   Establish a chain of command and communication for threats and emerging trends
  • •   Develop the right cyber security workplace culture and due diligence process
  • •   Obtain cyber security insurance
  • •   Seek in-house or outsourced legal advice for regularly updated security policies and an incident response plan


Read more about threats, attacks, ransom considerations and best practices to thwart ransomware.

Ransomware and Local Governments. Do Not be Held Hostage


About the authors

Lawrence Lee is a partner in the Denver office of Jones & Keller, PC.. He has 20+ years representing the public sector in trial, federal circuit court of appeals, and administrative employment hearings. He also has extensive experience advising employers on avoiding future claims under federal and state wage and hour laws, Sections 1981 and 1983, federal and state Constitutions, and federal and state anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws. He has been named as a super lawyer for the last three years.Larry has a recent history of protecting employers as well as going after third-party hackers of employer’s servers and data. Reach out to Larry at

Christopher R. Johnson is an associate with Jones & Keller, P.C.’s Business & Corporate and Banking, Lending & Financial Institutions Practice Groups. Mr. Johnson represents public and private companies and financial institutions on a wide range of transactional and regulatory matters. Mr. Johnson also served as Assistant General Counsel at a publicly traded company where he advised on a number of legal issues including data protection. He is a frequent author and speaker on the topics of data protection and cyber security. Reach out to Christopher at

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