By Rebecca Gainsburg, Advisen
Malicious Data Breaches
The number of malicious data breaches increased 55% from 2019 through 2020, driven by several high-profile breaches, according to Advisen data.
This spike reverses the downward trend seen in the past few years, as bad actors searched for more lucrative options – namely ransomware. Time will tell if the pandemic-related spike in malicious data breaches will continue into the post-COVID world.
Notable data breaches in 2020 include the Blackbaud ransomware attack – in which the cloud-based service provider found backup files with client information had been breached, affecting thousands of people – and a data breach at the British tech giant, Advanced Computer Software, which exposed the information of nearly 200 law firms, according to Advisen data.
Malicious Data Breaches by Accident Date
Cyberattacks on Critical Infrastructure
Critical infrastructure cyberattacks are increasing in frequency according to Advisen data, and some experts are worried the worst is yet to come. Poisoned water supplies, opened dam floodgates, and pipeline spills, are a few of the many other worst-case scenarios that could result from a cyberattack on critical infrastructure.
Recent critical infrastructure attacks in Advisen’s loss database include:
A ransomware attack in June 2021 on JBS meatpacking that temporarily shut down all operations. The meatpacking company – which processes roughly one-fifth of the nation’s meat supply – paid an $11 million ransom to become operational once more.
A ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, the nation’s largest fuel pipeline, which occurred May 7, 2021. The attack temporarily shut down all operations at the pipeline, causing a temporary increase in gas prices in the United States. The Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in ransom to restore operations, although some of the ransom was later recovered, according to Advisen loss data.
A February cyberattack on a water treatment plant in Florida, in which hackers briefly attempted to increase the levels of sodium hydroxide to a lethal amount. The plant operator quickly noticed the increase in sodium hydroxide levels and lowered it to the original amount, preventing anyone from being harmed, according to Advisen loss data.
Frequency of Critical Infrastructure Cyberattacks
D&O Losses Stemming from Data Breaches
Directors & Officers (D&O) losses stemming from data breaches are becoming more common. Advisen data shows an increased frequency of these cases over the past decade.
D&O losses stemming from data breaches in Advisen’s loss database are primarily classified as Shareholder Risks or Corporate Capital Risks. These losses encompass a wide range of loss types including merger objections, securities class action, derivative shareholder action, and capital regulatory action.
D&O losses stemming from data breaches
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