Every day, organizations are impacted by critical events, including operational disruptions, network outages, cyber attacks and ransomware, natural disasters, and other emergencies. And when these events take down critical infrastructure, there are devasting impacts. As recent history shows, critical events affect infrastructure on a regular basis. Just in the last six months, we have seen several different types of critical events result in similarly dire consequences, ranging from the shutdown of a major pipeline to the failure of a state-wide electrical grid.
Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack and Other Critical Events
Since December, critical events impaired at least four types of infrastructure:
- In December 2020, malware embedded in the SolarWinds system caused wide-scale disruptions to IT systems worldwide, impacting over 3,000 organizations, including major corporations such as Cisco, Intel, Cox Communications, and Belkin. Also impacted were multiple U.S. states and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- In February, an atypical winter storm in Texas decimated power grids, water systems, and transportation networks, leaving a wake of logistics devastation throughout organizations and the public.
- April brought a tragic mass shooting at a FedEx facility that resulted in not only nine dead and five injured, but also significant delays in deliveries from the heavily relied-upon delivery network in the days after.
- And now, the U.S. is in the thick of a major ransomware attack that has shut down the Colonial Pipeline with huge impact on fuel supply chains and cascading logistics impacts on organizations and residents.
Critical Events are Common
Any type of critical event – whether a cyber attack, IT outage, weather, or public safety issue – can negatively impact individuals and organizations. But especially when vital infrastructure is affected, the impacts are likely to be global and span entire populations and communities.
Unfortunately, critical events are not rare, and smart organizations need to proactively plan to be able to respond effectively. This includes putting critical event management systems and processes in place to prevent these events from occurring or lessen the impact and recovery time when they do.
Why Use a Critical Event Management Platform?
Critical event management (CEM) platforms provide a consistent framework for planning, responding, and recovering from all types of incidents, disasters, crises, and disruptions. This consistency helps to drive adoption and trust in the notification and response system from employees and other stakeholders. It also provides organization management with holistic situational awareness and visibility into the effectiveness of communications.
A robust critical event management platform will:
- Automatically ingest critical event notifications from cyber, IT, weather, physical security, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensor systems
- Invoke predefined alert response protocols to gather the appropriate response teams into secure collaboration channels where they evaluate the situation and decide next resolution steps and communication requirements
- Initiate communications to targeted audiences through pre-configured communication channels
- Account for the safety of individuals and gather situational intelligence as appropriate
- Keep stakeholders up to date through the event lifecycle
- Issue the notifications needed to move through the recovery phase
How Can BlackBerry Help?
BlackBerry® Alert is a next-generation critical event management platform designed to help enterprises prepare for, respond to, and recover from, disruptive events. Building on BlackBerry’s experience in crisis management, secure communications, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, BlackBerry Alert is a direct response to the market need for an agile, comprehensive approach to managing all critical events for organizations of every size, in any sector, including critical infrastructure.
BlackBerry Alert gives organizations the event management tools needed to quickly and easily respond to, and recover from, any critical event that threatens operations and people. Whether facing a serious incident or business-as-usual events, BlackBerry Alert enables organizations to take charge of a situation before it escalates.
BlackBerry Alert arms organizations with intelligent critical event management tools for response and recovery. Additionally, the BlackBerry Alert team of enterprise consultants can help with everything from fully managed critical event management services to assistance integrating the critical event management platform with systems and data sources.