Today’s most deviant hackers have the capability to shut down huge entities, which was the case in May 2021 with the Colonial Pipeline hack. The nation’s largest pipeline for gas and oil products was the target of cybercriminals who demanded $5 million in ransom in order for Colonial to regain control of its pipeline. The company paid the ransom in cryptocurrency. Here’s a look at what this attack means for your business.
Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack
Hackers were able to shut down 550 miles of the Colonial Pipeline, which created fuel shortages for residents throughout the eastern region of the United States. The shortages triggered a spike on gas prices on the East Coast. As you may realize by now, the breach was one of the largest ransomware attacks in U.S. history. On a positive note, the FBI reported they recovered the ransom money.
A recent IDC study found that about a quarter of businesses surveyed reported experiencing some type of data breach that led to a loss or expense of $10,000 to $20,000. More shocking is that over a third of respondents claimed they suffered at least 16 cyberattacks in the past few years.
Why Cyberattacks Are Getting More Serious
The Colonial Pipeline hack is just one of several examples of a large organization getting hacked. Other huge recent attacks have struck Microsoft Exchange email servers and software developer Solarwinds. The point should be clear that no entity is immune from a cyber disaster. Ransomware has become one of the fastest growing crimes in cyberspace, so it’s wise to learn more about cybersecurity and plan ahead.
Just because no one has a bulletproof solution against the most deceptive hackers doesn’t mean you should give up defending your digital assets. Your objective should be to make life so frustrating for hackers, they’ll be the ones giving up after wasting too much time trying to crack the walls of your multi-layered cybersecurity. Some of the strongest solutions involve virtualization, encryption, multifactor authentication, and 24/7 network monitoring.
Your business cannot afford to rely on just antivirus software, since you need additional layers of security. An experienced IT team that keeps up with the latest threats through cybersecurity networks can recommend solutions based on your existing infrastructure. They can further help your system become more efficient, flexible, and scalable through cloud solutions.
Executive Order to Modernize Cybersecurity
President Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity in the United States. Here are some of the components of this initiative:
- IT service providers must report cybersecurity breaches to the government that could impact Federal departments and networks.
- Removes contractual barriers that could discourage IT providers from reporting breaches.
- Introduces standards and definitions for federal responses to cyber disasters.
- Encourages the federal government to adopt more cloud-based infrastructure and cloud services.
- Requires federal agencies to adopt modern cybersecurity strategies such as multifactor authentication and encryption.
- Calls for the government to purchase higher quality cybersecurity software.
- Requires greater transparency from software developers about its security data.
- Establishment of a “Cybersecurity Safety Review Board” involving a mix of business and civic leaders who meet to discuss response to cyberattacks. The board makes recommendations for improving data protection from analyzing cyber incidents.
Ultimately, you and your IT team need to prepare a disaster recovery plan so you know exactly what steps to take in the event of an emergency. Make sure your business complies with federal regulations regarding privacy.
Every business can learn from huge cyberattacks such as the Colonial Pipeline hack. Preparing your company for a cybersecurity breach is the best way to deal with cyber threats. Working with cybersecurity specialists is an essential piece of the puzzle to protecting your digital assets from hackers.