Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and as the Russian military escalates its attacks, the United States is bracing for another kind of attack closer to home.
A Russian cyberattack on our infrastructure and our businesses.
The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has issued a warning to all sized businesses that they should be prepared to defend themselves again Russian cyberattacks. The agency’s notice says, “every organization, large or small, must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity.”
The CISA statement explained; “In the wake of continued denial of service and destructive malware attacks affecting Ukraine and other countries in the region, we are working very closely with our Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) and international computer emergency readiness team (CERT) partners to understand and rapidly share information on these ongoing malicious cyber activities,” the CISA statement says.
Cyber attacks started in Ukraine, now moving to the United States
In the beginning, cyber-attacks were focused just on Ukraine and targeted both businesses and the country’s infrastructure. But, as international support grew for Ukraine, Russia changed its tactics, and its focus spread to companies and governments in NATO countries and the U.S.
Americans are at higher risk of a Russian cyberattack after the Ukraine invasion, including attacks on our very infrastructure. This is because most of the critical infrastructure in the U.S. is owned and operated by private businesses.
“The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it’s coming,”
The Department of Homeland cyber security chief Jen Easterly has said: “there is an urgent need for all organizations, large and small, to act now to protect themselves.”
And she has previously warned of an uptick in ransomware from Russia over the past few years, increasingly attacking smaller targets.
Part of Russia’s playbook
The U.S. warns that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activities against business in the United States due to the unprecedented economic costs the U.S. has imposed on Russia, along with our many allies and partners.
It is incredibly profitable for cyber-hackers, and because of this, ransomware attacks against small businesses have doubled just in the last two years.
Last month cyberattacks targeting Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense and their banks were attributed to Russia.
Russian state-sponsored actors have previously targeted the U.S.
Russian state-sponsored cybercriminals have previously targeted the U.S. with cyberattacks, including the 2016 election interference operation and the massive SolarWinds hack. Russian cybercriminals were also implicated in the attack on Colonial Pipeline.
The U.S. has even distributed a fact sheet urging companies to mandate several cyber-security protocols. These protocols include; multi-factor authentication, running emergency drills to prepare response plans, patching their systems, testing backups, and taking other steps to secure information and bolster security to protect your organization.
Assistance from CISA (FREE)
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency offers totally free services that include application and vulnerability testing and remote penetration testing. In addition, the CISA will help you determine how prepared your staff is to recognize ransomware and phishing attacks and other security awareness training.
Check out this link to learn more: CISA Cyber Hygiene Services
What can our partners do to protect themselves?