Technology runs all of the conveniences of modern society, including energy delivery, health care, and communications. The rising number of serious cyber attacks in the United States has prompted the Biden Administration to make cybersecurity a top priority. An August 2021 White House summit attended by leading technology companies, energy companies, and government officials resulted in pledges of public and private sector money for sweeping cybersecurity improvements and training.


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Cybersecurity Failures Hitting Home

A ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline Co. in May 2021 revealed the sweeping power of cyber attacks to disrupt critical infrastructure. The seizure of the computers running the pipeline system by hackers halted the flow of gasoline and jet fuel to the Northeastern United States. Fuel shortages caused price spikes and worries that the fuel supply would not be restored to millions of people. In response, President Biden declared cyber attacks a significant threat to national security.

The cyber attack on the pipeline represented just one of many cybersecurity failures afflicting companies and institutions in the past year. Another high-profile hack of T-Mobile resulted in the exposure of data from millions of the wireless carrier’s customers.

Big Tech Pledges Big Money

After the White House summit with tech titans, Apple committed to increasing security training and requiring multi-factor authentication throughout its huge supply chain. Google announced plans to spend $10 billion over five years to secure its network of suppliers as well. Additionally, the search engine giant will train 100,000 people to fill cybersecurity jobs. Current estimates place the number of vacant cybersecurity jobs in the country at a staggering 500,000. Microsoft’s leaders said the company would invest $20 billion to improve cybersecurity and immediately spend $150 million to strengthen computer systems at government agencies and schools.

Building 92 at Microsoft Corporation headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Photographed by user Coolcaesar on 30 May 2016. Credit: Coolcaesar

Economy Threatened

Wholesale disruptions to infrastructure impedes economic activity and costs businesses and taxpayers millions. The new public/private focus on better cybersecurity is essential for preventing serious future losses.

Has your company experienced a costly cybersecurity attack?

ABOUT Colonial Pipeline

Our history goes back nearly 60 years, but our focus has always been on safely operating our system today and how to meet the energy transportation needs of the future.

Even back in 1962 we had big plans and great expectations, breaking ground on what would be the largest-diameter products pipeline system in existence. We filled the first 1,000-mile section of the pipeline within a year. Construction was complete just a year after that, with the entire Colonial system operational from Houston to Linden, New Jersey.

Innovation has powered us since the early days. Colonial was the first in our industry to generate schedules from digital computers, starting as early as 1962. Ever since, technology has made us safer, smarter, and more efficient. From moving 240,000 barrels per day in 1963 to more than 2.5 million barrels per day today, we’ve continued to grow, expand, and diversify our business. And we’ve done it by putting safety first and never forgetting our commitment to the environment. Check out the timeline below to see our major milestones!

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