A few keystrokes are all it takes.
All of a sudden, your most private information is in the hands of criminals. Your most personal information, banking details, social security numbers, your children’s information.
Yet, we’re still not prepared as it gets worse.
Not only is the U.S. government poorly prepared for cyberattacks, major companies all over the country aren’t either.
Over the weekend, for example, top U.S. fuel pipeline operator, Colonial Pipeline shut down its entire network after a ransomware attack. What makes the situation far worse is that Colonial Pipeline supplies about half of the fuel supply for the East Coast.
In fact, according to Reuters, “Colonial transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, and other fuels through 5,500 miles (8,850 km) of pipelines linking refiners on the Gulf Coast to the eastern and southern United States.”
“This is as close as you can get to the jugular of infrastructure in the United States,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, research professor and managing director of the Climate Policy Lab, as also quoted by Reuters. “It’s not a major pipeline. It’s the pipeline.”
However, it wasn’t just the pipeline that was hit.
According to Bloomberg, “Attacks were revealed against the police department in Washington, D.C. , where the hackers threatened to release information about police informants to criminal gangs; the Illinois Attorney General’s office, which had been warned about weak cybersecurity practices in a recent state audit; and San Diego-based Scripps Health, where medical procedures were canceled and emergency patients diverted to other hospitals.”
For the U.S. to be so poorly prepared for cyberattacks is getting a bit ridiculous. Unless the government takes the issue far more seriously, the attacks could get even worse.
For investors, some of the top stocks to keep an eye on with cyberattacks are FireEye (FEYE), ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (HACK), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. (CRWD), and the Global X Cybersecurity ETF (BUG).