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Colonial Pipeline: Inherent Flaws in the National Cybersecurity Strategy

Miles Tappin, VP of EMEA at ThreatConnect, explores why the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack has exposed a significant weakness in the US national cybersecurity strategy

The recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline should serve as a stark reminder to those responsible for critical infrastructure about the importance of security. Organizations must adopt a risk-led security strategy backed by a real-time decision and operational support system to mitigate and reduce the risk of future threats. This attack not only brought one of the US’s most vital energy infrastructures to a dramatic halt, but also revealed a critical flaw in the country’s cybersecurity strategy.

These new incidents should serve as a warning sign for critical infrastructure owners, operators, regulators, and the Department of Homeland Security. Although significant effort has gone into protecting industrial control systems over the last decade, they remain vulnerable to a range of cyber threats due to the interconnectedness between operational networks and businesses. These interconnections reveal the networks that underpin our economy and way of life – networks that are becoming increasingly vulnerable to sophisticated threat actors and cyber attacks.

The increasing sophistication and speed of nation-state attacks, combined with an ever-expanding attack surface, calls for organizations to urgently prioritize and accurately quantify and prioritize cyber risks.

Written by Miles Tappin, VP of EMEA in Open Access Government