Cybercriminals aren’t picky. Like any criminal, they choose their victims based on opportunity, value, and how difficult they are to steal from. Unfortunately, in the world of cybercrime, all that criminals have to do is spam thousands of e-mails and wait. It takes just one person in a network to click a malicious link, and criminals can gain access to vital systems and bring your client’s business to a halt.
We hear about these attacks almost every day. Earlier this year the eastern U.S. was held hostage as a cyberattack brought the Colonial Pipeline to a halt, starving nearly a quarter of the country of fuel due to a single compromised password. The lumber industry has also been a target. In recent years, businesses touching everything from the extraction, production, transportation, sale and management of lumber have been impacted by malware attacks. While not every attack seizes sensitive customer data, they can bring operations to a standstill that can last for weeks.
The key differentiation between the cyberattacks that make the news and the ones that take place every day is scale – cyber criminals look for vulnerabilities in businesses of all sizes. Often when blasting out malicious links, attackers will have no idea who they are targeting. They just want to see who will take the bait.
The attackers are not singling out specific targets, rather they are casting a wide net. The fish they do catch are then researched for vulnerabilities, and either have their computer systems held for ransom or have sensitive data stolen, and then similarly ransomed back to the owner. This puts any business that uses a computer at risk, including sawmills and other lumber suppliers that rely on automation to keep their operations running.
Fortunately, producers can help their clients protect themselves in the face of rampant global cyber-attacks. The US Cybersecurity and Infrastucture Security Agency provides several recommendations, that producers can go over with their clients. Recommendations include ensuring software remains up to date, utilizing antivirus software, adopting multifactor authentication and verifying links prior to clicking on them.
The most important factor for brokers to remind their clients of when it comes to cybersecurity is to have best practices and follow them. They should have a regular schedule for updating software, changing passwords, and conducting cybersecurity training to avoid a potential vulnerability that a cybercriminal will capitalize on.
A good cyber policy will include coverage for data breaches, computer attacks, fraud, and more. PLM offers a suite of cyber coverages for businesses to protect computers, personal networks and the electronic data of small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to coverage for compromised data, computer attacks, cyber extortion and network security, PLM provides additional services to help prevent cyberattacks. Through eRiskHub®, business owners have access to the tools and support they need to respond effectively to cyber-attacks and plan their response.
Cyber insurance should be a critical part of any lumber and building material supplier’s cyber-safety plan. Producers should help their clients understand that cyber insurance is relatively new and isn’t something that is automatically included in many insurance packages. By remaining informed of the common tactics of cybercriminals, producers can help insured maintain their confidential information and support their responsibility to safeguard sensitive data.
Producer Update: Issue 4 – 2021
IN THIS ISSUE:
- President’s Letter
- Coverage Toolbox: Cybercriminals Are Out There. Help Your Clients Protect Themselves.
- Plumb Safety: A Closer Look at How the FMCSA Can Improve Fleet Safety
- Plumb Safety: Anytime Risk Management: A Great Resource for Your Client’s Toolbox
- Direct Deposit Commission Payments
- Spotlight On: William Arthur Bissette
- Spotlight On: The PLM Exchange