Pipeline data breach underscores need for cybersecurity diligence, awareness everywhere

Pipeline data breach underscores need for cybersecurity diligence, awareness everywhere

When Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down operations across its 5,500 miles of pipeline recently due to a ransomware attack, it – and the world – became aware of how vulnerable the energy company ended up being against the invasion of determined cybercriminal activity. They are not alone, and the attack was not an anomaly for just larger companies.

The frequency and sophistication of these ransomware and other cyberattacks have soared, crippling business and organizations of all types and sizes, from local governments, doctor’s offices and small, family-owned businesses to major corporations like Colonial.

Being cyber smart and secure have never been more important. That’s why Truscott Rossman helped create the Defeat The Breach Coalition (DTB), a cybersecurity preparedness and response awareness and education initiative in partnership with key information technology, legal and digital forensics experts Providence Consulting, Fraser Trebilcock and DFI Forensics.

Defeat the Breach is designed to leverage the four firms’ respective expertise, helping other Michigan companies and organizations across all industries prepare, protect and prevail against any security incident, big or small.

As a testament to that effort, the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of Michigan (CMPRSA) has recognized the Coalition’s 2020 Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign with its coveted PACE award. One of mid-Michigan’s highest honors for public relations expertise, the awards are presented annually to those successfully addressing a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skills, creativity and resourcefulness.

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community and its professionals. PRSA is the principal advocate for industry excellence and ethical conduct and provides members lifelong learning opportunities, leading-edge resources to enhance professional connections, and support at every stage of their careers. CMPRSA members represent more than 170 Mid-Michigan communicators and public relations professionals.

Services recognized by the award and provided by DTB Coalition members range from pre-crisis communications planning and legal guidance to expert counsel before, during and after an attack, as well as critical crisis communications consultation, technical expertise to safeguard IT systems and the analysis and examination of digital evidence. Only about half of the average loss from a cyberattack is the result of damage or theft of IT assets. The other half comes from loss of productivity, disrupted operations, shattered customer confidence, lawsuits, fines, or other related problems.

Visit www.DefeatTheBreach.org to learn more and access free, ongoing tips, templates, news and a cybersecurity risk assessment.

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