Industries are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to improve efficiency and streamline business processes. However, this dependency on technological solutions come with their own security risks. If the valuable data required by most technology and IT solutions can be breached, it is susceptible to a cyberattack. The largest data breaches in 2020 are alarming and show how complex cyberattacks have become. The most recent hack was the ransomware attack against JBS the world’s largest meat-processing company. This attack disrupted all of its meat processing plants in the US and shut down slaughterhouses across Australia, bringing about one-fifth of US beef production to a halt.
The attack was executed by REvil, a cybercriminal group, believed to have originated in Russia. This is the third major attack that’s been tied to Russia this year. Efforts are being made by the US government to directly engage with the Russian government on this matter, with the message that “responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals”. An FBI investigation is also underway while the Agricultural sector is in talks with other major meat processors to make up for any production shortages.
Currently, JBS is unclear about the degree of damage caused. The company is also not aware of any evidence that a supplier or customer was involved or even if employee data was compromised. What is known is that the cybersecurity attack affected some of JBS’s servers supporting the North American and Australian IT systems. Resolving this ransomware attack is going to take time, delaying certain transactions with customers and suppliers. Companies need to protect their endpoints and non-trusted clouds.
The plan of action
The company has taken immediate action to resolve the situation ― alerting authorities, suspending affected systems, and activating the company’s global network of IT professionals and third-party experts. JBS is also closely collaborating with an incident response firm to restore its systems through its backup servers, which are unaffected. But, even as JBS has sufficiently recovered, with most of its plants commencing operations on June 2, 2021, the shutdown is indicating a temporary surge in beef and pork prices. This surge coincides with the industry already battling COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions.
The ripple effect of ransomware attacks
The JBS attack is the second major ransomware attack to stir chaos in US supply chains, occurring only a month after a similar incident shut down the Colonial Pipeline. Undoubtedly, the JBS attack and Colonial Pipeline attack are high-profile cyber attacks, highlighting the vulnerability of corporations and government agencies. These attacks offer a frightening insight into how swiftly cybercriminals can send an entire economic sector into a tailspin. It is for this reason that organizations must prioritize protecting their at-risk data and consequently, their business reputations.
To effectively combat ransomware, devising strict security strategies is important. Implementing software solutions such as those provided by SecurityShield protects your sensitive data before it becomes a target, by continuously scanning endpoints or servers to search for irregularities in software design. These software solutions help to safeguard industries crucial to US economic security.