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A Look Back at the Colonial Pipeline Breach & the Importance of Proactive Cybersecurity

A Look Back at the Colonial Pipeline Breach & the Importance of Proactive Cybersecurity

A recent cybersecurity attack on Colonial Pipeline and their critical infrastructure (that runs from refineries to terminals along the east coast) did more than make headlines. After a ransomware attack, the company was forced to shutter its 5,500-mile pipeline that delivers nearly half of the gasoline and jet fuel supply to the east coast of the United States

This led to mass panic-buying of gasoline for consumers, particularly in the Southeastern states. This pain at the pump, and fear of longer term gas shortages, raised a lot of questions, including concerns about the role of federal agencies overseeing pipeline security and the potential for public-private collaboration in monitoring cybersecurity. 

As InfoSystems’ Executive Vice President and CISO, Fred Cobb, says, this headline-making ransomware attack is yet another reminder of the precarious situations businesses are facing. 

“Cyberattacks are more disruptive than ever and the numbers are increasing,” Cobb says. “As a cyber professional, it’s frustrating to see companies continue to ignore basic cyber hygiene, including employee training, systems patching and integrating cyber defense technologies.”

Localized Attacks

In the case of Colonial Pipeline, initial indications point to the attack taking advantage of unpatched Microsoft systems and most likely a phishing scheme — both of which are avoidable scenarios.

“Here at InfoSystems, we have made vast improvements in our cyber defenses in a short period of time,” Cobb says. “We continue to do what is necessary with technology, but need our clients’ and our team members’ continued vigilance when it comes to spotting social engineering attacks through phishing and phone scams.”

According to Cobb, threats are ever-present, and it’s critical to keep one’s guard up at all times.

“We’re continuously working to leverage our cyber services and our knowledge on cyber products,” Cobb says. “As always, we encourage clients to take an offensive strategy.”

Ready to evaluate your company’s cybersecurity strategy? Learn more about our cybersecurity services here or request a free consultation today.

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