Cyberattack! What Does the Disruption at JBS Mean for Your Business?
Brazil’s JBS SA suffered a ransomware attack that has the potential to disrupt the meat supply chain around the world. As the second-largest producer of beef, pork, and chicken for the US, it could cause the US to lose approximately a quarter of its beef-processing capacity per day. While JBS reacted quickly to the attack, preventing long-term shutdowns and getting its facility back up and running as quickly as possible, the ransomware attack could still lead to a significant rise in meat prices across the United States in the coming months.
JBS, like many modern meatpacking plants and, indeed, many industries around the world, now relies heavily on technology to automate many of its processes, from production to billing and shipping. Those processes can grind to a halt due to ransomware attacks or malware–as JBS nearly experienced in the aftermath of this potentially devastating ransomware attack.
What Does This Attack Mean for Your Business?
Most business owners, including the owners of small and medium businesses, are aware of the rise in cyberattacks over the past year. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses than ever have suffered cyberattacks. 67% of small businesses have suffered cyberattacks–and 58% have experienced a breach.
Those cyberattacks can prove devastating for your business.
Like the Colonial Pipeline attack that disrupted fuel distribution–the Colonial Pipeline moves approximately 2.5 million barrels per day, or 45% of the East Coast’s supply–the JBS attack has the potential to cause substantial disruption across its industry as a whole. Not only does this cause immense challenges for people who rely on those services, it may mean severe challenges for the business itself.
The Cost of Ransomware Remediation Continues to Grow
The average cost of remediating a ransomware attack has grown to approximately $300,000. That number continues to grow dramatically–and for many small and medium businesses, those costs could prove devastating. Many businesses do not have the capital on hand to pay the ransom needed to restore their systems, and they may not have the ability to recover from that devastation.
The Cost of a Ransomware Attack Includes More Than Immediate Losses
A ransomware attack can completely shut down your business and disrupt your overall functionality. As it locks your data in place, it can shut down shipping and distribution, freeze marketing, and leave many of your business operations completely nonfunctional. In what seems like the blink of an eye, you can lose your ability to meet customers’ needs.
Customers are left scrambling to get their needs met. Not only can ransomware attacks on big businesses cause immense shortages, as seen in the Colonial Pipeline attack and the JBS attack, but they can also cause immediate supply line problems within your local area. Your customers, who may rely on your business for their needs, may not be patient enough to wait. Some of them will visit a new store or provider immediately. They want, or in some cases need, an immediate resolution to their problems and challenges. Once they visit that new business, they may choose to use them permanently. They might experience different services, get better deals, or find that the other business more fully meets their needs. Other customers may lose confidence in your business as a result of the attack. Despite the fact that cyberattacks have grown increasingly common, hearing that a business they trust has been taken down by malware, ransomware, or a data breach can leave customers feeling uncertain. That lack of trust can linger–and cause a dip in your business–long after the initial attack has been remediated.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Business?
Increasingly, business owners are feeling the vulnerability associated with their cybersecurity. While cybersecurity solutions do not offer perfect protection, there are several steps you can take to improve your overall security.
1. Make compliance a priority.
Industry standards are constantly shifting. Cybersecurity requirements may depend on your specific industry and what type of confidential data you handle on a regular basis. Working with an experienced cybersecurity provider, however, can help ensure that you remain in compliance even as those standards shift.
2. Go beyond compliance.
Once you’ve brought your business into cybersecurity compliance, don’t just assume that you’re protected. In most cases, compliance standards are the minimum acceptable level of cybersecurity. Maintaining those standards is like putting up a basic fence, lock, and alarm system around your home: it will help protect you, but it won’t stop a determined criminal. A cybersecurity expert can help take you beyond compliance to a deeper level of security.
3. Make sure you have a robust data backup and restoration solution.
Data backups are critical for your business. Your business runs on its data. Without it, you may find your operations grinding to a halt–and restoring that data may mean even more lost time and money. A data backup solution, however, can help get your business back up and running quickly in the aftermath of a disaster. Consider how frequently you really need to back up your data and how those backups can impact the overall functionality of your business. The more you use that data, and the more you input, the more frequently you may need to back up your systems.
4. Create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
These days, it’s not a question of if a disaster will strike, it’s more a question of when, and of how prepared your business is to handle that attack. A comprehensive disaster recovery plan can help carry your business through a disaster and ensure that every member of the team knows how to respond in order to maximize productivity and restoration. In the aftermath of its ransomware attack, JBS was able to get everything up and running again before most people even knew the attack had hit. That recovery plan can improve consumer confidence and put your business in a better position coming out of an attack.
Is your business prepared for a cyberattack? Do you know how you would handle those events if they did hit? We can help you prepare for an attack and improve your overall security. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive cybersecurity solutions.