Hostage Data: Ransomware & Protecting Your Digital Information

This week, Craig Siminski, of CMS Retirement Income Planning, shares an article  providing an overview of high-profile ransomware attacks, and offering tips to help consumers protect their own data:

On May 7, 2021, the Colonial Pipeline, which carries almost half of the East Coast’s fuel supply from Texas to New Jersey, shut down operations in response to a ransomware attack. Colonial paid a $4.4 million ransom not long after discovering the attack, and the pipeline was reopened within a week.

While there was enough stored fuel to weather the outage, panic buying caused gasoline shortages on the East Coast and pushed the national average price of gasoline over $3.00 per gallon for the first time since 2014.

Ransomware is not new, but the Colonial Pipeline incident demonstrated the risk to critical infrastructure and elicited strong response from the federal government.

Remarkably, the Department of Justice recovered most of the ransom, and the syndicate behind the attack, known as DarkSide, announced it was shutting down operations. The Department of Homeland Security issued new regulations requiring owners and operators of critical pipelines to report cybersecurity threats within 12 hours of discovery, and to…

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Craig Siminski is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with more than 22 years of experience. His goal is to provide families, business owners, and their employees with assistance in building their financial freedom.

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