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Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack Magnifies Threat Against American Businesses

Should big and small businesses be alarmed by the Russian ransomware cyberattack that shut down Colonial Pipeline? Absolutely. We now know for certain that every American computer network, big or small, is at risk.

Colonial Pipeline, an American oil pipeline system that originates in Houston, Texas, and carries fuel oil mainly to the Southeastern United States, suffered a ransomware cyberattack that impacted computerized equipment managing the pipeline. Sources confirmed that Colonial paid nearly $5 million as a ransom to the cyber criminals.

Ransomware attacks involve malware that encrypts files on a device or network that results in the system becoming inoperable. Criminals behind these types of cyberattacks typically demand a ransom in exchange for the release of data.

Now, business owners throughout the nation are confronted with the reality of international bad actors freezing and encrypting their computer network data

Business owners should ask themselves these questions:

  • Just how confident can you be regarding the safety of your computer network?
  • Are you prepared if a cyber-attack was to occur at your business?
  • How will you navigate through a cyberattack?
  • Are you prepared to pay the ransom if your cybersecurity was compromised?
  • When “should” you pay a ransom and when should you “not” pay a ransom.
  • Paying ransom can fund terrorism – is that what you want?
  • Does your existing business policy provide any coverage against cyber attacks?

The importance of identifying risk and transferring that risk to a cyber insurance carrier can not only ensure you are following proper guidelines, but will also allow you comfort in having a carrier who can help navigate a cyber attack.

Let’s have a conversation to see if cyber coverage is right for you!

Van Beurden Author