The Colonial Pipeline Hack: Exposing Vulnerabilities in U.S. Cybersecurity


A series of recent hacks and ransomware attacks on major U.S. firms and government agencies has the Biden administration considering a new cybersecurity approach to diminish infrastructural weaknesses. Among the recent hacks was one on Colonial Pipeline, a supplier that provides most of the gasoline and jet fuel to the eastern United States. The hack resulted in a temporary shut-off of the company’s spigots and panicked consumers enough that they began to hoard fuel. This case reviews some of the recent attacks and asks students to discuss the risks of such widespread vulnerabilities in cybersecurity.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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