The president of the United States recently warned private companies that Russian cyberattacks are highly likely after U.S. sanctions were imposed over the war in Ukraine. He stressed that private sector partners should:
“Harden your cyber defenses immediately following the best practices we have developed together over the last year. You have the power, the capacity and the responsibility to strengthen the cybersecurity and resilience of the critical services and technologies on which Americans rely.”
Is your company ready for a cyberattack from Russia or elsewhere? Do you follow the best practices outlined by our federal government? If not, Thriveon – a CompTIA certified IT firm – can help. We help companies patch their cyber defenses, train their employees and implement backup programs in the event they’re ever compromised by hackers.
How likely is a Cyberattack from Russia?
A recent Star Tribune article warns Minnesota companies to be prepared. The story focuses on larger and Fortune 500 companies, but all state businesses are at risk. While Russia may seek to avoid direct conflict with the United States, cyberattacks are an effective means of inflicting damage in retaliation for the sanctions we’ve imposed on them. Experts predict that Russian cyberattacks will likely cost the U.S. billions.
As the story points out, flaws left unpatched can be exploited. Work from home has added challenges to companies trying to protect themselves from hackers. Whether your company is a direct target of Russian hackers or not, poor cyber defense will ultimately leave you vulnerable.
How to Protect Your Company
In a CNN story that addresses the possibility of Russian cyberattacks on US companies, Karen Evans of the Cyber Readiness Institute talks about the culture change that needs to happen for people to be more alert. "No matter what the size of an organization is — it's the leadership, it's the CEO, it then cascades down to all the employees." When human error can easily leave your company vulnerable to attack, leaders need to educate their employees.
Evans also stresses the importance ofupdating your patchesand having a tested backup plan in place. A crisis is not the time to find out if your data is safe or not.
The Four Federal Pillars of Cybersecurity
Kevin Manwiller, operations director for the department of defense, has outlined four pillars of cybersecurity that government offices should follow. If these measures will protect our federal agencies from Russian hackers, they should protect your business too.
1. Control Access to your Networks
Know the people and devices that are connecting to your network. Grant the appropriate level of access to each of your employees and regulate all computers, phones and hardware. Dave Klein, a team lead at Cisco, points out that an old hacker trick is to disguise a laptop as a printer to infiltrate a network without needing a password.
2. Provide Secure Remote Access
As employees continue to work remotely, your company needs to provide a secure way for them to access your network outside of the office. Make sure your firewall is built with the proper measures in place.
3. Secure Cloud and Data Centers
Any data you have stored in a cloud should benefit from the same security as data hosted on local servers. Control access and make sure malware protections are in place.
4. Detect and Defend against Threats
Recognize malware and botnets before they reach your employees’ inbox. Have strong security measures in place and educate your teams on how to recognize phishing attempts.
Fortify your Cybersecurity Measures
While you may not need the same level of security as the federal government, your company is vulnerable without a proactive plan. Managing your cybersecurity and staying on top of the latest threats is a fulltime job. Trust your company’s networks to an IT team that stays ahead of attacks. Schedule a meeting with us today to discuss your vulnerability against all threats, foreign and domestic.