US Companies Warned– Prepare for Russian Cyber Attacks

The Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have all issued a “Shields Up” to companies warning of possible attacks on U.S. cyber infrastructure in concert with Russia’s physical invasion of Ukraine. “Given the very high tensions that we are experiencing, companies of any size and of all sizes would be foolish not to be preparing right now as we speak to increase their defenses,” deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco said in remarks at the Munich Cybersecurity Conference.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a threat that may seem a world away from us. However, it is likely to hit closer to home and businesses need to be prepared. Russians are incredibly cyber-savvy. As the country continues to invade Ukraine, many U.S. government officials fear that Russia may simultaneously launch a cyberwar on the U.S. and other countries.

For the past two decades, Russia has been refining its cyber-attack strategy. In 2015 and 2016 Russian hackers shut down portions of Ukraine’s power, which turned the electricity off out in multiple regions. Then, in 2017 a Russian cyber espionage group released a virus dubbed NotPetya. This attack disabled Ukrainian government agencies, banking groups, and a power plant before spreading to companies around the world.

The Russian government knows that by disabling critical infrastructures such as the power and communications systems, they can increase pressure on a country’s government, military, and population to accelerate their objectives. “They are absolutely ruthless. They will do things that will ruin people and cause great harm. This is a serious thing. It’s not just about making the lights go on and off,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commanding general of the U.S. Army Europe, said in an interview. 

While all companies are at risk of a cyber-attack, those who will be facing the greatest risk are hospitals, financial institutions, aviation, military, critical infrastructures like the power grid, essential services, and utilities (gas, electric, water, and communication systems). If these companies are attacked, there will be a trickle-down effect that will ultimately put all organizations and individuals at risk. Here are some things you can do to help prevent a cyber-attack:

  • Patching – distributing and applying software updates.
  • Stay on high alert.
    Monitor in real-time with Managed Detection and Response (MDR).
  • Security awareness training – employees should be trained to recognize phishing and other sophisticated attacks. They are your first and last line of defense.
  • Hire cybersecurity experts to help protect your client and employee information.
  • Protect your websites and social networks from being used to spread malware or misinformation.

For more information on protecting your company from cyber-attacks please call us at (315) 338-0388 or email info@mapolce.com.

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