In the last few years, the phrase “cyber security” or “cyber attack” has made international headlines. Just 10 years ago, the average consumer had no idea nor the time to care about such topics. In May of 2021, anyone using a vehicle with a gasoline-burning engine shifted their attention to the idea of a cyber attack.
On May 9th, a cyber gang known as DarkSide performed a ransomware cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline company–resulting in a five day shutdown. The 5,500-mile pipeline would carry 2.5 million barrels of gasoline per day along the East Coast. Instead, service was shut down for several days–affecting many individuals and businesses across America. This marked the beginning of aggressive gasoline price inflation in the USA.
The debacle concluded after Colonial’s CEO authorized a ransom payment of $4.4 million. Yet even after the ransom was paid, it took some time to get the system back to work. Amidst this struggle and other similar attacks, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that required government departments to:
– Adopt multi-factor identification log-in systems within 180 days
– Hasten change to “cloud” and “zero trust” frameworks
– Designate “unclassified data” as being too sensitive to be stored in normal networks
– Conduct thorough reviews of critical-software suppliers
While the order was specifically for government agencies, it also emphasized that private cyber-security companies should improve defenses about when they are attacked (within 72 hours of discovery). Despite these measures, this particular attack was felt not only by the companies/agencies involved, but also by the typical American individual like never before.
Highlighting Cyber Security Companies
As more people have begun to understand the issues surrounding cyber attacks, it is important to know which companies are innovating and offering solutions within this field.
Hailing from Milpitas CA, FireEye has been in existence since 2004. Today, they are an $800 million dollar company that provides a combination platform of security technologies. These solutions are for Enterprise Security, Managed Defense, and Threat Intelligence. Plus, the team provides services for security assessments, Breach Response, Security Enhancement, and Security Transformation.
In 2011, FireEye acquired Mandiant–another firm within the same industry. Since this sale, the FireEye/Mandiant team has been involved with fighting cyber attacks on SolarWinds and most recently on NewsCorp.
BAE Applied Intelligence
This UK company provides services such as Fraud Detection & Prevention, AML Regulatory Compliance, Digital & Data Services, Cyber Security services, Email Security, Managed Security services, and National Threat Defense solutions.
Most recently, BAE was contracted to provide urgent support to the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). BAE’s team was awarded over $600,000 for the contract–the work performed and issue at hand is not yet public knowledge.
Years ago, BlackBerry created some of the world’s first and most well-known smartphones. Today, the Ontario, Canada based business is providing enterprise critical event management solutions, endpoint protection, and securing the Internet of Things by using artificial intelligence and machine learning against cyber threats. BlackBerry has quietly begun to serve various car manufacturers, and government agencies to help prevent hacking and ransomware attacks.
This Texan company was named “the best” cyber security company, according to Software Testing Help. ScienceSoft has completed more than 150 security testing and consulting projects for clients in banking, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, public sector, telecoms, and other industries. The company advertises their “ethical hacking team” that helps to identify vulnerabilities for clients.
Palo Alto Networks
This Santa Clara CA-based firm was given the #1 spot on the “top 25 of 2021” list, according to The Software Report. The company serves over 54,000 customers across 150 countries. Palo Alto’s team provides a Security Operating Platform to keep hackers out through automated enforcement–simplifying security so customers can focus on securing users, applications, and data. The platform is optimized for a variety of industries, like financial services and healthcare. Recently, the company was awarded the 2021 Indian Company of the Year Award by Frost & Sullivan for leading the market with its highly reliable cyber security solutions.
The companies mentioned are only five out of dozens (if not hundreds) of companies that exist within this field. This article was put together after researching top headlines in this industry–specifically looking at high profile cyber attacks and/or contracts awarded in this field.
The industry is growing, unfortunately due to the increase in cyber crime. In 2020, ransomware cost businesses a total of $20 billion in that year. Plus, there were almost 550,000 cyber attacks per day involving ransomware, according to IT Chronicles. The amount of attacks and money demanded only increased from 2020 into 2021. It seems 2022 is starting in a similar fashion as new cyber gangs are being realized.
It only took a few days of a gasoline pipeline hack for the world to understand the severity of such attacks. Hopefully, a safer online future will exist as more companies continue to grow and innovate within this field.
By Ryan Gallagher