Several weeks ago, parts of the United States underwent a fuel shortage after a ransomware attack targeted the Colonial Pipeline. The situation resulted in the pipeline shutting down its operations for several hours and notifying the public of the issue, while also offering encouragement that there was no need for any fear or panic.
Unfortunately, due to misinformation spreading quickly on social media, many members of the public went out of their way to fill up the tanks in their vehicles, even when unnecessary, which resulted in a temporary shortage of fuel.
Although that situation passed, at the beginning of June, the world’s largest supplier of meat, JBS, released a statement saying that the company’s operations were finally going back to normal, after a big cyberattack led to shutting down some of the operations in locations around the United States and Australia.
In that statement, the meat supplier cleared up that it was making positive progress in resolving the cyberattack, and that most of the plats in both the US and Australia would be starting their operations the same day.
The corporation also noted that it had already made cybersecurity plans long before the attack happened, to make it easier to address any potential cyber issues. Furthermore, those plans had been successfully executed, and the corporation hadn’t spared any resources in combating the negative situation.
The cyberattack was similar to the one that happened with the Colonial Pipeline, as the operations at the meat supplier were paused due to a ransomware attack. That was the latest in a number of high-profile ransomware attacks on corporations, which have highlighted the vulnerability of various civil society groups, government agencies, and organizations.
Additionally, according to the statement from JBS, the corporation had informed The White House of the situation several days prior to the public announcement and had started working together with government officials to monitor the situation closely, as well as assess any potential impacts on either supply or prices.
The number of ransomware attacks has been on an increase around the United States, as well as the world because hackers have increasingly found unsophisticated ways to get inside companies’ networks through various methods. Unlike the situation with the Colonial Pipeline, the one with JBS was handled a lot faster and in a calmer manner, which is crucial when communicating with the public.
Furthermore, this situation is useful for other companies of any size to understand the importance of having a crisis PR and communications plan, alongside a cyberattack plan, to know how to proceed during any type of situation. Having such a plan also makes it easier for companies to know how to create thoughtful and efficient statements for the public, without creating any stress or fear, which could damage a company’s reputation or bottom line.