Data scientist Benjamin Ruddell, director of the FEWSION project at Northern Arizona University and a leading expert on supply chains, is available to discuss the effects of the Russian cyberattack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which originates in Texas and supplies about half of the oil used on the East Coast for flying and driving.

Ruddell highlighted a number of factors that are exacerbating the severe effects of the shutdown, including the Jones Act, which prevents the use of tanker ships to move fuel around the failed pipeline in this case, and the risks inherent in relying on pipelines, which diminishes the diversity and resilience of the fuel pipeline.

Contact: Benjamin Ruddell, director, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems

Quotes

  • “When a fuel pipeline shuts down, it tends to create a severe problem because of a lack of alternative sources—unlike, by contrast, goods that are moved by trucks." 
  • “This cybersecurity failure underlines the vulnerability of all kinds of critical infrastructures to failure and reinforces the need to focus on resilient strategies. Because no system is safe, resilience is key.”

About Dr. Ruddell

Data scientist Ben Ruddell is director of the FEWSION project at Northern Arizona University and a leading expert on supply chains. Ben directs the $4 million FEWSION project funded by the National Science Foundation. FEWSION has built the first complete empirical description (with correlating maps) of the U.S. food, energy and water system supply chain (the FEW Nexus) so that every citizen and policymaker can see from where their food, water, fuel and a total of 46 different commodities come. He is also a professor and director of the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at NAU, known for its top scientific research programs. He has also led research projects funded by NASA, USDA, USGS, the Department of Defense, private foundations and several cities.