Heed the Warnings: Surfside Condo and Pittsburgh Bridge

On June 24, 2021, at approximately 1:22 a.m., a 12-story beachfront condominium in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed, killing 98 people and injuring 11.

The main contributing factor was identified as long-term degradation of concrete structural support in the ground-level parking garage under the housing units, due to water penetration and corrosion of the reinforcing steel. The problems had been reported in 2018 and noted as “much worse” in April 2021. A $15 million program of remedial works had been approved before the collapse, although no main structural work had been undertaken.

On Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at approximately 6:40 a.m., the Fern Hollow Bridge – which carried roughly 14,000 vehicles a day, connecting major areas of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – collapsed about 100 feet into a ravine.  Miraculously, no one was killed but about 10 people received injuries.  The bridge had received “poor” ratings for the past 10 years from inspectors, and was included in plans to be rehabilitated, but not for another five to seven years.

As the shock wears off, the impact on victims and families processed, and the physical work of cleanup and reclamation begins, next come the questions about liability and who is responsible for the costs involved in the aftermath.

In the case of the Surfside collapse, there may be issues surrounding the property insurance and the possibility of Director & Officer claims directed at the Condo board.  Regarding the Fern Hollow Bridge, various municipal bodies and agencies may face insurance investigations and subsequent litigation.  In each instance, warnings about potential failures of the respective structures had been issued, and corrective plans made, but none had been performed in time to prevent a collapse.

One thing may be more certain than anything else, however – claims of this scope will trigger enhanced underwriting by the marketplace.

Your organization may not necessarily face the same level of disaster as Surfside or Fern Hollow, but there may be identifiable risks in play nonetheless.  Once they have been identified and a plan to alleviate them has been developed, it is wise to implement those plans sooner than later, as much as practically and financially possible.

For more information on these matters and how to properly prepare, contact the professionals at The Reschini Group today.

Copyright 2022 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

How to Recover from a Cyber Attack

Recovering from a cybersecurity incident can be a daunting undertaking, especially if you’ve lost information that’s critical to running your business. But you can limit the damage to your company and your reputation by developing a solid recovery plan in advance.

Conduct a full, encrypted backup of your data on each computer and mobile device at least once a month, shortly after a complete malware scan. Store these backups at a protected, off-site location. Save your encryption password or key in a secure location separate from where your backups are stored. Many software applications will allow you to encrypt your backups.  With your backups in place, if a computer breaks, an employee makes a mistake, or a malicious program infects your system, you’ll be able to restore your data. Without backups, you’ll have to manually recreate your business information from paper records and employee memory.

It’s essential to back up data such as:

  • Word processing documents and electronic spreadsheets
  • Databases, especially customer relationship management (CRM), financial, human resource (HR), and accounts receivable (AR)/payable (AP) files
  • Product design and manufacturing data
  • Other operational technology (OT) data such as machine and process condition monitoring and analysis
  • System logs and other information technology (IT) information

Don’t worry about the software applications; just focus on the data. Store your backups on an external USB hard drive, other removable media, or a separate server. Use caution when selecting a partner if you decide to store your data online and encrypt all data prior to storing it in the cloud.

Hard-drive backups should be large enough to hold all your monthly backups for one year. Create separate folders for each computer so you can copy your data into the appropriate folder on the external drive. After your backups are complete, test them immediately to ensure your efforts were successful.

Like flood or fire insurance, you can purchase cyber insurance for your facility. These services can help you recover from an information security incident more quickly and effectively and may cover the cost of:

  • Cybersecurity expertise to assist in identifying the extent of damage caused
  • Consultation to help investigate the incident and report it to the appropriate authorities
  • Loss of revenue due to downtime
  • Legal fees, fines, and penalties incurred

The Reschini Group can help you navigate the ever changing world of cybersecurity. Contact us today to discuss your situation.

Copyright 2020 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

Excerpted from: https://www.nist.gov/blogs/manufacturing-innovation-blog/how-recover-cyber-attack