The Colonial Pipeline attack was yet another reminder that critical infrastructure is in desperate need of stronger security. The attack is one of the most recent victims of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure; the phenomenon is not new, nor is it confined to the U.S. Critical infrastructure is essential to the security of any given nation, making it a valuable target, especially to state-sponsored actors and terrorist groups. And by targeting such entities, cybercriminals are infiltrating the physical world.
Efforts are in place to enhance critical infrastructure cybersecurity, yet a key aspect remains heavily neglected—one that keeps critical infrastructure exposed to attacks. But first, we need to understand why critical infrastructure is so vulnerable and the physical implications of those vulnerabilities.