Last week, I said that cybersecurity is not optional, The White House and top cyber groups also made that same call. I thought about the pipeline attack some more and it occurred to me, what is the difference between someone detonating a bomb to stop the pipeline from operating than someone hacking the system to stop the operations? When a person or group stops critical infrastructure, such as fuel delivery, whether physically or remotely they should both be classified as a terrorist act.
These cyberattacks are happening more frequently and are more widespread throughout the country. They are affecting power grids, water systems, hospitals, and other critical supply chains that could possibly cause loss of life or disrupt our nation’s ability to conduct business and commerce as usual. In an article by the Wall Street Journal, the FBI director, Christopher Wray, is likening these cyberattacks to 9/11 in the sense that we do not know how to handle what is occurring in the nation presently. Case in point, the initial report from the Colonial Pipeline was that the attacker used a simple password to connect to the VPN, there was no multi-factor authentication enabled and that was how they got in. This just goes to show how fundamental multi-factor authentication is when it comes to securing your systems. It is not costly and could help you and your business avoid a situation like this.
Moving on to some good news. The Justice Department and FBI were able to recover 2.3 million of the ransom that was paid by Colonial Pipeline to the hacking group, Dark Side. I am glad to see that action is being taken to at least stop these groups from continuing, however, if there is a profit to be made in ransomware, the problem is going to continue to occur. As I said last week, if everyone put the correct cybersecurity in place it would greatly reduce the financial profitability of ransomware, everyone’s business and data would be more secure, and our national security would be much better off.
Back to my point from last week, cybersecurity is no longer optional. All businesses and all government agencies need cybersecurity and must have a united front on this issue to stop these ransomware attacks before it gets any worse.
Please see the articles below for more details.