US cyber defense needs ‘continued focus and investment’: Equinix CEO
Equinix CEO Charles Meyers provides insight into cybersecurity in the U.S. after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and how to strengthen our digital infrastructure.
After a hacking group forced Colonial Pipeline, the nation's largest system for refined oil products to shut down suddenly, government officials are warning cyberattacks against U.S. businesses and infrastructure will become more frequent.
Acting Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Brandon Wales made that clear during Q&A while testifying before lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
"If [there is] ransomware focused on Colonial, there is likely to be ransomware focused on other critical infrastructure as well, isn't that true?" asked Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the committee.
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"That is true," Wales responded.
After more than 100 major attacks in the last decade — including a 2020 attack that saw five Chinese hackers indicted — there has not been any major legislation that offers full protection for U.S. companies. The Biden administration is reportedly considering an executive order to ramp up safety standards for federal agencies that could be threatened.
And it can't come soon enough. The attack on the Colonial Pipeline, said to be the work of Russian ransomware group Darkside, is straining supply and panicking drivers who have lined up at gas stations up and down the East Coast with North Carolina and Virginia declaring a state of emergency.
"This is potentially the most substantial and damaging attack on U.S. critical infrastructure ever. It shows that cyberattacks can have tangible, real-world consequences," Sen. Portman remarked.
The hearing comes as fuel shortages have widened up and down the East Coast as consumers continue to panic buy amid the aftermath of the pipeline's cyberattack.