It seems like every week or two there is another data breach or cybersecurity incident in the headlines. The staggering numbers of compromised accounts and rapidly evolving methods of attack can make it easy to feel helpless against cyber criminals in an increasingly digital world.
Earlier this year, in May, the Colonial Pipeline Co. suffered a ransomware attack that held their pipelines hostage for six days. This attack wreaked havoc on the supply chain that provides roughly 45% of the fuel for the east coast, driving shortages and huge price increases for their customers. In the end, the company paid the ransom to the hackers in order to regain control of their systems and restart the flow of fuel to a large portion of the country. In August another large cybersecurity attack made the headlines. T-Mobile suffered a data breach that involved 53 million current, former, and prospective clients. These are just two of the most prominent attacks this year and already they are beginning to fade in the rear-view mirror. Many more cyberattacks fly under the radar of the average person if they don’t have immediately tangible effects or a household company name as the target. As attacks like these become more common many people become desensitized to such stories in the news and either ignore or quickly forget them. However, it is important for individuals to take what action they can to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
When it comes to institutions, it is important for individuals to be able to trust an organization to put forth the proper efforts and safeguards to protect their information. This can be extremely difficult to determine and at times it feels like the burden of protecting one’s personal information is placed entirely on individuals themselves. While no company or agency wishes to fall victim to a cybersecurity attack, some are more willing to cut corners than others in terms of putting proper protections in place. I think we will see increases in regulatory legislation, punitive judicial decisions, and free market pressure that will all drive institutions to increase their efforts in cybersecurity as it continues to be a threat that grows in scope and severity.
For our part at DWM we have started using Ninjio, a program that offers monthly cybersecurity awareness training. Beyond our commitment to best practices in terms of privacy and security with sensitive client information, Ninjio informs our DWM team on current cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them. The lessons focus on simple, actionable measures that individuals can take to protect themselves from digital threats. We have found that no matter the topic, there is always a useful takeaway from their lessons.
We feel cybersecurity is an extremely important topic, especially as more aspects of our lives are taken online in some way, shape, or form. In this light we are excited to be able to offer Ninjio services to our DWM clients at no charge as an added benefit. If you’re a DWM client and are interested, please send us a note and we can set this up for you. There are many ways to increase your protection from cybersecurity threats ranging from awareness training to simply using stronger, unique passwords online. We hope everyone can find something that will help them stay safe!