The White House recently unveiled a 100-day plan for protecting the United States power grid from cyberattacks. One focus of the Biden administration is to improve our cyber defense; this plan is one step toward that promise.
In 2015 Ukraine’s power grid was targeted by hackers. This attack was the first successful cyberattack on a power grid. About 230,000 Ukrainians in the Ivano-Frankivsk province were without power for a handful of hours in the dead of winter. At the same time, residents in the Chernivtsi province and Kyiv province were also affected but on a smaller scale. In 2017 Ukraine was hit again by malware that affected websites for Ukrainian banks, ministries, newspapers, and electricity firms.
The developing Friday May 7th, 2021 cyber attack on an East Coast pipeline shut down the major line which provides about half of the gas, diesel, and jet fuel used on the East Coast. The ransomware attack has paralyzed the pipelines network and caused its four major pipelines to shutdown. While this shutdown has not caused a fuel shortage yet, a prolonged closure could cause a raise in prices.
Graph provided by Statisa.com Annual number of data breaches and exposed records in the United States from 2005-2020
We all like to think that this wouldn’t happen to us, but in reality, it can happen at any time. Hackers are aggressively working to implant malicious malware in our power grids that could leave even our largest cities in the dark.
Cyberattacks on power grids are not the only concern. The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) has compiled a list of all significant cyberattacks since 2006 which you can read here. In March 2021 alone there were ten documented “significant” cyber-attacks on the United States.
Remember, not just the United States government is vulnerable to attacks. Businesses of all sizes can be completely shut down by a cyber-attack and individuals’ lives can be ruined by identity theft. It is important to continue to plan and work toward preventing an attack on your business. We offer a number of companies that write standalone cybersecurity policies as well as cyber coverage extensions.