Experts discuss vulnerability of critical infrastructure after Colonial Pipeline cyberattack
Hospitals, water supplies and public transportation are all connected to the internet - and the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline showed just how vulnerable critical infrastructure really is.
A simulation at IBM's Cyber Range showed News 12 what ransomware attacks looks like. Companies become locked out of their computers and systems as hackers leave a note for a hefty ransom.
"I think we are at a point with ransomware where it's become a critical pandemic," says Nick Rossman, global threat intelligence lead at IBM Security X-Force.
Rossmann says the Westchester-based corporation helps companies prevent and manage ransomware attacks like the one that shut down one of the biggest gas pipelines on the East Coast.
He says these types of attacks have jumped by 10% since last year.
"We see these ransomware operators going after companies' organizational technology," he says.
This means that basically any system connected to the internet is vulnerable - which is why it's so important to have trained cybersecurity professionals.
Dr. Jonathan Hill, dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science at Pace University, says there are thousands of unfilled jobs for cybersecurity professionals just in the tri-state area.
He says that students at Pace University are training for those critical jobs.
"What happens next time if it's drinking water? What happens if next time it's air traffic control," Hill asks.
He says training employees to avoid spear-phishing emails and implementing multifactor authentication are ways to protect against the cybercrime.