By Eric Bremer, Underwriting Assistant
If you live anywhere in the Southeastern United States, you were most likely aware of and affected by the sudden fuel shortages a few months ago and the subsequent panic buying of fuel. This unexpected shortage had thousands of Americans rushing to their nearest gas stations to buy every drop of fuel available. The sudden shortage was the result of a cyberattack on the largest refined products pipeline in the United States. The ransomware attack halted 2.5 million barrels per day of shipments of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Reuters states that this was the most disruptive cyber-attack ever on the U.S. energy infrastructure.
According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), ransomware is an “ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable.” The criminals then demand ransom in exchange for file decryption. Ransomware criminals often target and threaten to sell or leak data or authentication information if the requested ransom is not paid. In recent years, ransomware incidents have become increasingly prevalent among the nation’s state, local, tribal, territorial government entities, and critical infrastructure organizations.
Cyber insurance typically covers the legal fees and expenses associated with an attack. In addition to those basic legal fees, it may also address the following areas:
- Notifying customers about a breach in data
- Restoring personal identities of affected customers
- Recovering compromised or encrypted data
- Repairing damaged computer systems
Additional IT support is often provided to prevent future attacks and strengthen systems against breaches in information.
The pipeline cyberattack showed how easy it can be to gain access to a system, and how these attacks are becoming more common and devastating on the world economy.
Although the latest cyberattacks in the news have been on a large scale, affecting multi-million dollar companies, these attacks regularly happen on a smaller scale as well. Businesses of any size can be the targets, as criminals find more sophisticated ways to gain access to a company’s data. Cyber Liability may be included as an enhancement to some PartnerOne products, addressing losses that may result when a business engages in various electronic activities. This coverage is not limited to cyber claims arising out of “contractor activities” or “professional services.”
Information from this article was obtained from the following sources: