Last month we saw how hackers managed to halt operations of the Colonial Pipeline with a ransomeware attack, creating a momentary gas panic. Weeks after the pipeline's shutdown, news broke that the energy company had in fact paid hackers $4.4 million in ransom to regain control of their pipeline. Not long after, a major meat producer, JBS USA, was also forced into ceasing operations following a cyberattack. Unfortunately, we are seeing hackers increasingly targeting major infrastructure, which has a devastating impact on ordinary citizens.
As hackers successfully penetrate our infrastructure, they incite more panic and stand on stronger grounds to demand larger ransom amounts; and when the victims are left with no choice but to pay the hackers, they only make these malicious organizations stronger. While lawmakers like Virginia senator Mark Warren are working to fight off cybercriminals from a policy perspective, it is increasingly critical for every organization to take up a stronger cybersecurity posture.
"You are incredibly dependent in every part of your life on software. And as the number of lines of code grows you only increase your dependence and the risk...It's going to take up businesses, not only the efforts to write their software more securely but to understand all of their dependencies and the vendors they use."