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Cybersecurity and the Energy Sector

Energy Sector’s Criticality

By Charles Parker, II

The attacks on the energy sector have been increasing. This is a critical vulnerability for the nation. A

successful attack on, for example, the electrical grid would be a disaster from every view. I still

remember the time when the grid in the NE region of the US went down in the early 2000s. This was

unintentional yet if you lived in the region and was out of power, both consumers and commercial

clients, the effect was devastating.

Looking to recent events, there have been attacks that continue to show the vulnerabilities and the

effects from these, both financial and human. We can remember the 2021 Colonial Pipeline ransomware

attack. The company experienced large financial losses and disrupted their operations. On the attacker’s

side, they removed without authorization (i.e., stole) approximately 100GB of data and received $4.4M.

A significant portion of this was retrieved, however overall, this had direct negative impacts on the


This isn’t a US issue, but global. In 2022, European oil refining ports and storage facilities were targeted.

This included 17 terminals. This industry needs the blue team cybersecurity attention. Without this, we

will have direct issues affecting our daily lives.

About the Author

Charles Parker, II has been working in the info sec field for over a decade, performing pen tests, vulnerability assessments, consulting with small- to medium-sized businesses to mitigate and remediate their issues, and preparing IT and info sec policies and procedures. Mr. Parker’s background includes work in the banking, medical, automotive, and staffing industries


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