Cyber Incidents, Finishing, and Why You Need to Start a Conversation
It starts like any other Monday morning at your finishing and coating operation.
After brewing a cup of coffee in the office kitchen, you walk the floor of your shop and then head to your desk and power on your computer. You’re ready to start the workday, but when you click on the file you were working on last week, you’re horrified to find a note demanding that your business pay a ransom to have its most important data unlocked. Worse yet, the note also threatens that if you don’t pay, all of your business’s data will be leaked on the dark web.
You panic for a moment, check a few other files, and find that they are all in this state. Thoughts rush through your mind: Who is responsible for this? How will your business afford the ransom to unlock its critical data? How will you fulfill your obligations to your customers, make payroll, and communicate with the outside world with your systems locked up? What are your legal rights and obligations? All this spells business interruption for days, weeks, or even months on end, damaged business relationships, lawsuits, and fines and penalties.
This is a situation that businesses of every size—from small mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 companies—find themselves in every day. Even organizations that take all the right steps, put the correct safeguards in place, or feel they are too small to be targeted, find themselves waking up to these messages more often than ever. In fact, according to the FBI, there were $4.1 billion reported losses in 2020 (Cyber Hygiene is Critical to Obtaining Cyber Liability Coverage (oswaldcompanies.com) Notably, 77% of the ransomware attacks involved threats to release stolen data (Cyber Hygiene is Critical to Obtaining Cyber Liability Coverage (oswaldcompanies.com).
What are my obligations after a data security incident?
Investigate: First and foremost, every business is legally obligated to investigate known or suspected unauthorized access to or theft of data.