On 6 May, 2021, attackers accessed the Colonial Pipeline networks and installed ransomware, quickly bringing fuel distribution to a halt up and down the east coast. The Colonial Pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey and transports 100 million gallons of fuel daily. Ransomware attacks like this are essentially “IT kidnapping” – attackers hold networks, data, or information hostage until a ransom is paid. In the case of the Colonial Pipeline, victims paid their attackers over 4 million USD.

JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, was hit with a ransomware attack last week. This attack came less than a month after the Colonial Pipeline incident, showing us more clearly than ever that we need to address the security of our nation’s infrastructure. At this point analysts haven’t been able to pinpoint how hackers gained access to JBS’s systems or what they had access to.

What we know

While the Colonial Pipeline attack was a U.S.-specific attack. JBS is a company from Brazil with international locations. We know that JBS operations in Canada and Australia were also affected this past week, but we don’t yet know the ramifications of an attack on a multinational company.

These attacks are great reminders that simple things we don’t give much thought to, like putting gas in the car and grocery shopping are now dependent upon secure IT systems. This is a relatively new concept as all aspects of our lives have grown increasingly more reliant upon technology over the last fifteen to twenty years.

In the case of cyberattacks – ransomware or otherwise, operations should always be able to be recovered to a previously known safe state. When there is a lack of preparation or disaster recovery training, there is serious cause for concern. In large-scale cases like the ones above, our entire lives can come to a screeching halt. When we are talking about the infrastructure of an entire country, cybersecurity should be first on the priority list. When we are talking about your organization, it should be at the top of your list, too.

Don’t be caught off-guard

You have too much to lose if your network and systems are attacked. These days, not having a contingency plan is really no longer an option. We can help you secure your organization from online security to network systems, to ensuring your staff is trained and prepared for anything that might come your way.