Insurance Lapse Puts Old Lyme at Risk

To the Editor:

In February 2021 Old Lyme was notified by its insurance agency that its cyber insurance coverage would be non-renewed as of July 1, that municipalities were recent victims of attacks, and that “A cyber breach has proven to be one of the costliest losses a municipality can experience.” Accordingly, obtaining replacement insurance coverage was highly recommended.

During the Board of Selectmen meeting on October 4, First Selectman Griswold was asked for an update on purchasing cyber insurance. He answered that two individuals were “looking into it.” In other words, although he has known for 8 months that the policy would terminate on July 1, and although the town has been uninsured now for over 3 months, no coverage is yet in place.

We are all aware of the damage caused by cyber-attacks. Ransomware can cripple an organization’s computer systems; hackers can steal, sell, and publish personal financial and health information. According to an article posted on June 22 by the Forbes Technology Council, “municipalities have become the focal point of state-sponsored hackers and cyber criminals.” Citing research by Barracuda Networks, it states that “44% of global ransomware attacks in 2020 targeted municipalities.” Why? Because they are “the gatekeepers for voter records, tax information, social security numbers and essential access information to the full range of critical infrastructure managed in the municipality’s workload. . .” Needless to say, the cost of recovery from a cyber attack when ransom is not paid (or even if it is) may be many times more than the demand. Referring to a report entitled “The Economic Impact of Cyber Attacks on Municipalities” from KnowB4, Inc., Forbes disclosed that the average ransom demand from 2013-2020 was $835,758.

Mr. Griswold often delays taking timely action to address town issues; this is but one example, and one that could cost the town dearly.

Martha Shoemaker is known for her decisiveness and has a track record of strong, effective management. I am voting for Martha as First Selectwoman on November 2.

Maria Martinez
Old Lyme, CT

Martinez is a Democratic candidate for the Old Lyme Zoning Commission

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