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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2021 / Vol 44 No 4


34 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Joe Dysart Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Thousand Oaks, California. A journalist for 20 years, his articles have appeared in more than 40 publications, including The New York Times and The Financial Times of London. During the past decade, his work has focused exclusively on ecommerce. Telephone: 631-256-6602; web:; email: DOUBLING-DOWN ON RANSOMWARE PROTECTION: KEY SOFTWARE FOR FASTENER DISTRIBUTORS As the threat of ransomware has reached new heights in 2021, many fastener distributors across the globe are doubling-down on their defense against the scourge -- making sure they’ve done everything they can to avoid becoming its next victim. Indeed, successful ransomware attacks on key infrastructure and supply lines in the United States have proven so visceral this year, they’ve triggered an executive order from U.S. President Joe Biden -- nudging all U.S. businesses to get serious about ransomware protection. Says Biden: The order “calls for federal agencies to work more closely with the private sector to share information, strengthen cybersecurity practices, and deploy technologies that increase reliance against cyberattacks. “It outlines innovative ways the government will drive to deliver security and software -- using federal buying power to jumpstart the market and improve the products that all Americans use.” During 2021 alone, fastener distributors and other LONG A SCOURGE, THE THREAT IF RANSOMWARE IS LOOMING EVEN LARGER THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WAS ABLE TO CLAW BACK .3 IN BITCOIN FROM A HACKER WHO DISRUPTED COLONIAL PIPELINE businesses across the U.S. have been reeling from successful ransomware attacks, including attacks against SolarWinds, a commonly used IT management software program; the ransomware disruption of service on the Colonial Pipeline, the largest conduit of refined oil products in the U.S. and the ransomware seizure of computer files of the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department. Still other ransomware takedowns include a takeover of computer files at goliath meatpacking concern JBS Foods as well as at the National Basketball Association. Granted, authorities have occasionally gotten lucky against ransomware hackers during 2021. Excellent cyber forensic work by the U.S. Department of Justice, for example, clawed back .3 in Bitcoin that the Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware hackers to help get its computer network up-and-running again. Says Lisa O. Monaco, U.S. Deputy Attorney General: “Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful tools we have. CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 118



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