The escalating situation with the Ukraine conflict brings concerns of additional Russian State-Sponsored Cyber Threats. At Merit Technologies, we are in a constant state of vigilance, and want to help you understand the risks and ways to mitigate security threats.
A joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) has been issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA) in an effort reduce the risks associated with these threats. According to the advisory, they are encouraging the cybersecurity community “to adopt a heightened state of awareness and to conduct proactive threat hunting [in order to] help organizations improve their functional resilience by reducing the risk of compromise or severe business degradation.”
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the new sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia, the US government is on high alert for the conflict to spill over into cyberspace, and expects cyber warfare to increase. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have warned US organizations at all levels to be vigilant in protecting themselves and to consider escalating defensive actions from a wide array of cyberattacks.
Russia has shown the ability to cause significant disruption and damage to US businesses and the general public in the past, and suspected Russian hackers have been linked to some of the biggest cyberattacks on US infrastructure and businesses in recent years.
The current situation is unfortunate but there are things you can do to take action and protect yourself and your business from the anticipated threats. To help you be prepared, we have compiled the following recommendations from the CSA:
- Make sure all users have updated their systems and applications to the latest release, which typically includes latest security enhancements.
- Implement multi-factor authentication and require strong passwords that are not used across multiple accounts or stored anywhere others could access.
- Use antivirus software and enable robust spam filters.
- Implement data backup procedures and run backups frequently and regularly.
- Remind employees of the role they play in keeping your business secure. Remind them to be cautious about clicking on links or attachments in emails and vigilant against phishing attempts. See this article on how to identify a phishing email for more information.
- Develop internal contact lists. Assign main points of contact for a suspected incident as well as roles and responsibilities and ensure personnel know how and when to report an incident.
- Implement a SOC (security operations center) with Managed Detection and Response for 24×7 security monitoring and proactive threat hunting.
- Have a security awareness training program in place and ensure employees are consistently exercising best security practices.
The protection of your business is our number one priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the conflict unfolds and circumstances necessitate. As always, we are here to assist you and ensure you stay secure. If you are currently working with Merit Technologies, the good news is that we already have a lot of this covered for you, so you can rest assured that you are getting the best protection for your business. If you’d like help with any of the above preparations or other security measures, please contact us.