The Garmin outage continues to rattle users around the world as they surpass 24-hours of “server maintenance.” Here’s what we know:

“We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin Connect, and as a result, the Garmin Connect website and mobile app are down at this time”

@Garmin (Twitter)

Followed by:

“This outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for the inconvenience.”

@Garmin (Twitter)

With no update from Garmin outside of various versions of the message above, the speculation is that Garmin was hit by a massive outage after a possible ransomware attack.

Garmin users are commonly athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who rely on the company’s products for day-to-day usage, training and route finding in the backcountry. The connectivity to Garmin Connect and integration with apps like Strava, make it one of the most popular “smart” products on the market. According to Garmin’s 2018 annual report, they shipped nearly 15 million units that year and more than 205 million units since their inception.  

Some users are laughing it off saying things like:

“Thank you, hackers, for mildly inconveniencing me by not letting me program tomorrow’s run into my @Garmin watch. I hope you are enjoying all seven years of my incredibly boring and slow running data.”

@chasingtheshade (Twitter)

Other Garmin users are a little more frustrated:

“As a @Garmin user, I’m frustrated that they’re not giving us any update as to why there is an outage, what they are doing about it, or when we can expect it back online.”

@AndyBeal (Twitter)

Garmin isn’t the only one experiencing outages. Companies like Twitter and Westlaw have been hit as well.

Outside of the obvious data privacy issues that come naturally with breaches, there are serious implications to a company’s brand. Consumers rely on companies to protect their data. When that trust is broken, there are immediate repercussions companies face. Garmin, a publicly traded company, saw an in immediate drop on Wall Street. This drop is something that will also trickle into the company’s sales in the coming quarters.

Planning ahead

The legal landscape for data privacy and security is ever-changing. It is important to find counsel to help you navigate the waters and help implement informed, practical solutions to manage privacy obligations and data security risks in day-to-day operations, market expansions or business transaction. It’s also important to stay up to date on current best practices. These efforts will safeguard businesses and business reputations against the negative effects of privacy and data security incidents.

So, your company’s data has been breached

For most companies a serious data breach requires “crisis” response. When the future of an organization is in jeopardy it’s important to seek counsel to help in preparing an efficient, thoughtful and timely response.

Crisis and risk management

Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti’s response team works with company leadership to assess the extent of a data breach, develop strategies to mitigate liability, work with insurers, comply with regulatory requirements, and maintain the confidence held by the company’s customers, employees and investors. It’s also our priority to create an atmosphere that is conducive for leadership to also continue their focus on all business operations.

Partner, Rudy E. Verner, who leads the data privacy practice group at Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti says, “consumers’ online data is increasingly subject to data breaches and ransomware attacks and the potential for fraud that accompanies such disclosures.  This is especially problematic if the company collects and stores credit card or other personal financial information.”

The risk exists. Plan ahead. Stay up to date.

Author: Rudy E. Verner and Ashley D. Cawthorn

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