How Colonial Pipeline Changed Advice on Ransomware Preparation and Response

A year after the Colonial Pipeline incident, private- and public-sector attorneys differ on how companies should respond if they fall victim to a ransomware attack. Most, however, agree that the criminal networks behind ransomware attacks are growing increasingly sophisticated and that proactive plans are crucial. Speakers during a recent panel discussion at the ABA’s White Collar Crime Institute in San Francisco noted that the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack proved to be a defining moment of sorts for attorneys and others professionally involved with corporate cybersecurity preparedness and response. The panelists explored how the May 2021 ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline exemplified the role government agencies can play in responding to such attacks and highlighted the need for companies to explore the legal risks associated with paying ransoms for data. See “How Law Firms Can Prevent, Detect and Respond to Ransomware Attacks” (Sep. 15, 2021).

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