The warning came after a breach in the Police Department at Washington, D.C.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cautioned that cyberattacks -- especially ransomware strikes -- are rising and goals vary from government agencies to small companies.
"The danger is real. "Inform yourself. Educate yourself and shield oneself."
A ransomware assault is when hackers lock files onto a device and need a ransom be paid to be able to unlock thembased into the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Mayorkas stated that the $350 million has been paid out to ransomware strikes in 2020.
The MPD hasn't supplied an update regarding what occurred.
The attorneys at work are needing to use their private emails -- underscoring the danger these strikes pose.
Mayorkas also stressed Wednesday that ransomware strikes against small companies have become successful.
"As a matter of fact, small companies include roughly one-fifth to three-quarters of those sufferers of ransomware," he explained.
In general, ransomware strikes have been up nearly 300 percent in the last year, he explained.
"The declines from ransomware are shocking and the speed at which those declines are being accomplished are equally shocking," he added.
Mayorkas declared an attempt to accelerate DHS' consciousness on cyber -- among four so-called"sprints" -- which may focus on hiring individuals with the ideal expertise to work in the section.
A DHS spokesperson told ABC News that the division plans to employ 200 cyber employees by July.
Mayorkas also stated Wednesday that funds in Homeland Security and the Secret Service are accessible for companies to make the most of in an endeavor to fight and react to ransomware strikes.
"We stand at the ready to give instruction to offer critical information to help you in navigating through everything you perceive to be a danger to help you in maybe building the defenses"