Print Plant Cyberattacks Disrupted US Newspapers. How Does That Affect Your Company?

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An American Printer Commentary
By Andy & Julie Plata
Co-CEOs, the OutputLinks Communications Group

 The recent cyberattacks on newspapers were costly due to missed editions, dramatic business disruptions and advertiser refunds. As more details are made available the cost could escalate.

The attacks blocked access to critical files and articles, and affected software used to create printing plates. It is suspected the intent was to disable the print plants’ infrastructure with the Ryuk ransomware to extract substantial ransom payments.

Europol sees ransomware as the dominant malware threat facing organizations


Homeland Security

Although minimal details have been released, the attacks were severe enough to lead the US Department of Homeland Security to state, "We are aware of reports of a potential cyber incident affecting several news outlets and are working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation."

It’s not “Will I be hacked” but rather “When I will I be hacked.”

Does This Affect Your Company?

“That could never happen to us” is not a valid comment related to cyberattacks. By paying close attention to the newspaper plant hacks, print professionals can begin protecting their companies. Preventing the cost and lost business of such an attack deserves immediate attention.

The Supply Chain Villain

Security experts have identified outsource and software suppliers as supply chain points of vulnerability to large enterprise’s systems. Therefore, outsource printer and marketing service providers are, or will soon be, under increased scrutiny as potential backdoors to their clients’ corporate data.

Are You a Client’s Supply Chain Back Door?

Print companies and marketing service providers are essential nodes in an enterprise’ supply chain.

  • What would it cost your company to miss mandated deadlines due to a hack?
  • If you were hacked, would clients be wary of entrusting future work to your company?
  • Might a hack and missed deadlines cause the loss one or more important clients?
  • What would the cost be if your company was the cyber entry point to a client’s systems?

In closing

We share this commentary to stimulate dialogues within companies and the associations that serve print professionals. Your thoughts on this topic are appreciated in this article’s comments section.

Andy and Julie Plata, co-CEOsAnd by the way – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Promoting print tech for the digital age,
Andy & Julie Plata
Co-CEOs, American Printer and the OutputLinks Communications Group

Stay tuned for our continuing Commentary on the evolving print community - its clients, employees, dealers, partners and financial partners.




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