OAKLAND, Calif. – Some of the nation’s top cybersecurity experts are preparing to meet at a hybrid convention next week in Las Vegas and online. The Black Hat 2021 event includes training and briefing sessions on cybersecurity topics and comes just one week after the Biden administration’s announcement of new steps to protect U.S. infrastructure from cyber-attacks.
The U.S. does not have comprehensive cybersecurity requirements for most industries. The threat of attacks has been highlighted by recent incidents. In June, the meat-processing company JBS reportedly paid $11million in ransom after it was attacked. In May, Colonial Pipeline, which supplies about 45% of the fuel on the East Coast, reportedly paid more than $4million in ransom after a cyberattack. Even federal agencies such as the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments have been targeted by hackers.
“It sounds really tempting to say no one should pay the ransom, but the reality is now these actors are targeting things like health care law enforcement, local governments, and those are things that you simply can’t live without,” said Craig Williams, director of Cisco’s Talos Outreach security division.
Williams says in many cases, hackers might exploit simple weaknesses in government or company systems.
“You’re going to see an attacker, particularly the advanced ones…