Anyone in the Carolinas can recall the gas lines that followed the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in 2021, but local cyber experts in the region are protecting this critical infrastructure all the time.

In an interview with ABC11, a local television station that covered the Data Connectors Raleigh Cybersecurity Conference last week, keynote Bobby Wells, Special Agent in Charge at the FBI’s Field Office in Charlotte, discussed the urgency of the current moment.

“Russia is very capable in terms of cyberattacks, and so is China, North Korea and Iran,” he told the station. “All of those nation-state actors are capable of causing damage across a variety of spectrums to include critical infrastructure.”

John Felker, the former assistant director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security, also spoke at the conference and offered his insights to the viewing public.

“You got new businesses here in Raleigh and startups. How much cybersecurity staff do they have to focus on that? Probably not much, so how do we get them rolled into the larger ecosystem in Raleigh so they’re sharing information that’s helpful,” Felker told ABC11.

Felker, a regularly featured speaker for the Data Connectors Cybersecurity community, previously shared his insights in the early days of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.

The session, titled “Reflections on the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack,” took a comprehensive look at the timeline of events surrounding the attack, as well as a deep-dive in the actions of the perpetrators, the DarkSide hacking group.

“Despite the impact, this was a pretty run-of-the-mill ransomware incident. (DarkSide) acted like many ransomware actors act,” Felker said. Watch that interview on LinkedIn.

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