The Ransomware Attack Against Colonial Pipeline
While more information about the attack continues to come to light, R Street Cybersecurity experts are available for comment and to provide valuable context to the ongoing conversation about cybersecurity, critical infrastructure and how the private sector and U.S. government can respond:
- More than 70 state and local government organizations were impacted by ransomware attacks in the last year.
- Ransomware attacks rose by over 97 percent between 2017 - 2019.
- Average requested ransom has increased from about $5,000 in 2018 to nearly $200,000 in 2020.
- Ransomware is the biggest threat facing organizations today, according to former director of the CISA Chris Krebs.
- Ransomware tactics have changed as well and are focused less on individuals and more on organizations who can afford to pay larger ransoms.
- In 2019, Baltimore County in Maryland fell victim to a ransomware attack that blocked access to data and services critical to its residents. The ransom was $80,000. Baltimore, upon advice from federal officials, did not pay the ransom and ultimately spent more than $18 million in recovery expenses.
- Source, a new white paper released today: Enhancing State and Local Cybersecurity Responses.
- Brief bio: Bryson is a senior fellow for Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats at the R Street Institute, an advisor to the Army Cyber Institute, and served as a U.S. Army Officer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is also the founder and CEO of SCYTHE, a start-up building a next-generation attack emulation platform, and GRIMM, a boutique cybersecurity consultancy. He also co-founded the ICS Village, a nonprofit advancing awareness of industrial control system security and where he hosts the podcast, Hack the Plan[e]t. Prior to these, Bryson led an elite offensive capabilities development group. He was recognized as a Top 50 Leader in Cyber for 2020 by Business Insider.
About R Street
R Street is a non-profit public policy research organization that supports free markets and limited, effective government. It has headquarters in Washington, D.C. and five regional offices across the country. Learn more at www.rstreet.org.