The Pace of Government Won’t Fix Cybersecurity

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The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack disrupted oil supplies throughout the East Coast of the US as the company worked to contain the threat, investigate the internal impact of the breach, and restore its systems from back-ups. The shutdown caused inestimable ripple-down losses and inconvenience for organizations and individuals whose activities depend on access to the 100,000 gallons of fuel Colonial transports each day. Despite paying almost $5 million in ransom—some of which was subsequently recovered by the FBI– the decryption keys reportedly did not work well and most of the recovery was accomplished from the company’s own backup systems. In the wake of the attack, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced mandatory cybersecurity requirements for the pipeline sector, and more recently, issued a second Security Directive for critical pipeline owners and operators.

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