Colonial Pipeline CEO says company didn’t have plan for potential ransomware attack

Colonial Pipeline did not have guidance in place on how to handle a ransom demand from cybercriminals who locked up its systems, its CEO testified in a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday. The company’s failure to prepare explicitly for a ransomware attack — despite warnings from Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as early as February 2020 about the risk of such attacks against the pipeline industry — underscores growing concerns from lawmakers that the critical sector needs tighter regulations when it comes to cybersecurity. “We have an emergency response process: See the threat, contain the threat, remediate the threat, and restore,” Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount said in response to a question from Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. about ransomware-specific guidance. “So in this case, you use the same process, but you use a different set of experts.” Hassan chastized Blount’s response,
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