In 2005, the state of Louisiana went through a major multi-layered crisis brought on by Hurricane Katrina. Not only did it impact the physical landscape of the region but it also made deep impacts on the economy and the citizens who called the area home. Now, Louisiana is in another state of emergency due to major cyberattacks.

For the first time in the state’s history, cybersecurity has been called out in an emergency situation. In the last week of July, the state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, issued a statewide Emergency Declaration in response to three major ongoing cybersecurity incidents that have impacted school systems in Sabine, Morehouse and Ouachita parishes in the northern part of Louisiana. Currently, authorities are working with cybersecurity experts and school boards to see if the exposure has made its way to other systems.

What Happened in Louisiana

The attacks that hit the school systems shut down phones in the districts as well as locked and encrypted files and computer equipment. The virus that hit Sabine disabled some of its technology systems and the central office phone system. The emergency declaration placed by the governor allows Louisiana to access resources from the state’s national guard, technology office, state police, and other related organizations.

In other parts of the country, attacks like these have become more common. Last year, in Baltimore, hackers infiltrated the city’s dispatch system that takes care of emergency calls following a similar malware attack in Atlanta, where city service systems were hit.

Control and Containment

In Kenner, a city of about 70,000 residents, the mayor’s office held a Facebook Live chat, discussing the issues and what other school systems face. Mayor LaToya Cantrell expressed cybersecurity diligence among all communities, imploring them to review their cybersecurity protocols.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has also kick-started its Crisis Action Team to handle any further damage or vulnerabilities in cybersecurity systems. For now, the authorities are encouraging businesses, schools, and individuals to use antivirus solutions and firewalls to keep threats blocked, back up their files, and look out for suspicious activity, especially through social media.

For businesses and school systems alike, utilizing cyber risk services can help to limit the overall cost of having to make up for lost information and large vulnerabilities in digital landscapes. The cost of picking up the pieces following a cyberattack can be costly, so having the right insurance coverage can help to supply the right funds to keep finances as protected as possible.

About Highland Risk Services

At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.