This year marks an ignominious 20th anniversary. On August 13, 2003, a single outage in the electric grid cascaded across eight northeastern states, putting 55 million people in the dark for days, and thousands of businesses out of business. The Great Blackout of ’03 was a catastrophic reminder that we’re all one nosy squirrel in a transformer away from an instantaneous, put-you-out-of-business event.
Two decades later, the evidence isn’t in favor of less exposure for the next 20 years. Consider this report from CNBC: “The FBI warned Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers.” And this one from the Department of Homeland Security: “Russian government cyber actors have been targeting U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear and commercial facilities, since at least March 2016.” And more recently, experts allowed that the Chinese balloon that recently circumnavigated the U.S. could have been carrying an EMP, or electromagnetic-pulse device, that when detonated, essentially fries the electric grid below.
Prior to 2003, most businesses surveyed reported they were aware that a business disruption/interruption was possible, but incredibly, they also admitted they weren’t prepared for one. Thankfully, that response is different these days, as one of our recent online polls indicated. [Continue Reading]