Cybersecurity was top-of-mind for many executives this week after a group of hackers orchestrated a ransomware attack on the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S., causing it to shut down for six days.
The Colonial pipeline hack, which triggered some gas shortages south of the border, raises questions about what businesses can do to protect themselves from getting hit by similar debilitating breaches in the future.
Here’s what some business leaders and government representatives had to say on BNN Bloomberg:
“[The attack has] certainly drawn great attention and I believe that most utilities around the world right now are going to be double-checking what security they have in place … I’m feeling good about what we have in place from a cybersecurity and defence perspective, but there’s no doubt our boards and myself are going to be double-checking.”
Nancy Southern, CEO of ATCO
“This is just unfortunately a continuation of a trend of criminal activity. It's break-and-enter on a grand scale, theft and extortion, and if it were happening in retail stores all across North America, around the world, we'd be reading about every day. This is a whole new game.
“… We’re doing everything we can against what is a really formidable problem, not only for the Colonials of the world, but for the whole world.”
Dean Connor, CEO of Sun Life Financial
“This is a real threat out there. We do take it seriously and it's something that we've put a lot of money in to protect against and we'll continue to do that in the future.”
Matthew Proud, CEO of Dye & Durham
“We spend a lot of time making sure our systems are secured. We spend a lot of time making sure that anything that is in our dataset is masked so that even if for some reason something is captured there's things [hackers] couldn’t get to. It is something that worries us all the time. We think that we're in a good position, but it doesn't mean we have to take our thoughts off it.”
David Friesema, CEO of Sleep Country Canada
"There's no reason right now for us to believe that our energy infrastructure is vulnerable, but it's all about vigilance. [The attack] certainly shines a light on the importance of reliable energy security."
Seamus O'Regan, natural resources minister
“The new reality is that our critical energy infrastructure and its operators are at the front lines of modern warfare. Some people thought I was being hyperbolic when I stated this a few years back, but this incident is showing how critical this infrastructure is. It’s a real wake-up call and we all need to recognize that we’ve got to stay ahead of our adversaries in this area because losing this critical infrastructure has significant consequences.”
Neil Chatterjee, commissioner at the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission