When Cyber-Attacks Succeed: Lessons Learned from the Colonial Pipeline Company Breach
Cybersecurity attacks on IT infrastructure have become an increasingly legitimate and immediate threat for businesses in the past few years. With the world becoming more technology reliant with each passing day, failure of operations due to a security compromise cause enormous economic and social impacts. Moreover, many companies that are seriously impacted by these attacks could have avoided falling victim by investing is proper and up-to-date cybersecurity measures.
Last year’s ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Company, the United State’s largest fuel pipeline, is a prime example of how impactful cybersecurity compromises can be, not only on the targeted company, but on our society as a whole. This ransomware attack occurred when hackers obtained inactive employee account credentials from the dark web and infiltrated the company’s IT network. As a result, Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down its entire pipeline system, causing catastrophic infrastructural damage throughout the country. In addition to dealing with this enormous societal impact, Colonial Pipeline decided to pay the hackers nearly $5 million to regain access to the 100 GB of the company’s personal data that was being held hostage.
This security breach incident is a stark reminder of the ever-growing, serious threat of cyber-security attacks on the critical infrastructure of the U.S. Colonial Pipeline’s case makes a powerful argument for companies to invest in preventative measures to strengthen their security measures to ensure protection from such technological warfare. Taking the time to bolster your cybersecurity measures now will save your company’s money, time, and reputation in the future.