A brand-new story has come out! Buckeye Broadband is having a little bit of an issue with their email services that they provide to their clients. Many people are probably wondering what is happening to their customers, and how this is impacting them? People also might be wondering where this is even coming from? There is a bit of twist to this story, so let’s take a look at what is going on with Buckeye Broadband today.
Buckeye Broadband, are out of Ohio, and their web portal went down on Wednesday where their customers go to get their email. If you use the email system, it's a bex.net email address. Also, if you’re a customer of Buckeye Broadband, you probably can’t get into your email. So now, Buckeye Broadband is saying that this is a ransomware attack on the vendor that they use to provide the email services.
Now there’s no awareness of any email providers that are currently under a ransomware attack, except for Finalsite. Experts don’t believe that they provide the email services for Buckeye Broadband's customers, but nothing's out of the question here. Finalsite is a website company for schools, and research didn’t show anything about them hosting email services for cable companies. Broadband providers should have used a more robust type of email server system for these customers.
So, if you're a Buckeye customer, how's this impacting you? Your emails are probably down right now. You probably can't get into certain things. If you use this as your primary email, it's probably really annoying. Also, this hasn't impact Buckeye's cable broadcasting or anything like that. They kind of outsourced this email service to a third-party company, and that's really the only thing that's been affected. Now, the third-party company, whoever this is, there was information found and it said that "After investigating these reports, it was discovered that the service provider that manages Buckeye's broadmail email domain was the victim of a ransomware attack. And the email service provider has reported that customer data has not been compromised." It’s crazy to think that no customer data was found but people are still talking like it couldn’t happen to them.
Buckeye Broadband are working with security experts and federal authorities to restore access to email services as quickly as possible, the unnamed email service provider that is. It’s important to note that it's not emails that are involved but the server that controls the distribution of the email. So, that’s where it’s trying to give people a false sense of security because the reality of it is if they can shut down those servers and cybercriminals can get on those servers, and they can get to the data. Cybercriminals can also get to the information that's stored within these databases and within these servers, unless you're only attacking transport servers and not storage servers, that could be the possibility. But more than likely, these are the same servers in most cases.
Curious to see what ends up happening out of this but would love to hear from anybody who uses a bex.net email address or is a Buckeye Broadband customer. Let us know how this is affecting you. Are there any businesses out there that use this as their primary email source, and is it affecting their business? The issue that seems to be happening with this third-party vendor is their process to have in place to deal with it. The third-party company seems to say they’re not the only company negatively impacted here, but that doesn't make it any better.
This brings up a point. Clients seem to ask what are you going to do when said cloud provider or said service is no longer available to you? How is this going to impact your business, and how are we going to have a backup plan so we can get to whatever we need to get to, to help run our business. So, in this case, if you identify email as a critical function in your business, and you can't go more than a day or two without email in your company and your email's hosted in the cloud by a third-party provider. Then, that third-party provider has a ransomware attack. That is a problem. Maybe a data center goes down. Maybe a line gets cut between the data center and the internet. There's a lot of different things that can take down these services. Someone can't blame another business because you have a problem.
Your contracts don't say that that's okay. Your cyber insurance doesn't say that that's okay. Experts are not aware of any regulations in any industries that are governed with cyber security policies that say that that's okay. It's on you to make sure you have a backup plan for your business, for all these things that you're farming out to the cloud. Unfortunately, those things look a lot like they’re going backwards in time a little bit because you have to keep something local or something in cold storage that you thought, well, I'm in the cloud. I'm good. Now no need to have to worry about it anymore. But the reality of it is you need to bring that stuff somewhere where you can get to it if you lose access to things.
Let’s take a look towards the long term when customers start giving this company feedback about how they handled this situation and things like that. But if you're a business owner, or you run a business, or you're in charge of making sure a company is still running, these are the things you need to do. You need to plan. You need to plan for cloud outages, services not being available to your company, and really analyze the impact of that and make sure that you have proper backups and proper ways to get to this data. Think, should these cloud services cease to exist through a cyber-attack, through war, through whatever could happen. Hurricanes, floods, fires, we've seen it all, and technology stops working when all those things happen. That’s when you need to have a backup plan, and you got to have an incident response plan. Every business should have one now, and that's what we should be all working towards in 2022.
Buckeye Broadband, their email service, has been a victim of a supply chain, ransomware attack, a third-party vendor. Their supplier has attacked their network and taken the email services for Buckeye Broadband customers down. That's where we're at today. Try to update you when we get more information.