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The White House has released a security checklist to organizations in the U.S. to help counter Russian cyberattacks.
With the United States imposing strict sanctions against Russia, new intelligence suggests that Russia is preparing to launch major cyberattacks in the near future.
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In a recent press briefing from the White House, Deputy National Security Advisor, Anne Neuberger is urging U.S. companies to increase their cybersecurity defenses as soon as possible.
Neuberger stated the following in the press briefing:
“We’ve been given a number of threat warnings over the last number of weeks that Russia could consider conducting cyberattacks in response to the very significant economic costs the U.S. and partners have put on Russia in response.”
Neuberger then went on to discuss “preparatory activity” which is a typical activity seen before a cyberattack, such as vulnerability scanning, network scanning, and exploring defenses on critical infrastructure.
According to CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), critical infrastructure consists of about 15 industries like energy, healthcare, communications, transportation, information technology, agriculture, and others.
White House Releases Security Checklist
The following checklist released by the White House contains tips to help assist U.S. organizations in their cybersecurity defense efforts.
Some of the items within this “Fact Sheet” include the following:
- Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication on your systems to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system;
- Deploy modern security tools on your computers and devices to continuously look for and mitigate threats;
- Check with your cybersecurity professionals to make sure that your systems are patched and protected against all known vulnerabilities, and change passwords across your networks so that previously stolen credentials are useless to malicious actors;
- Back up your data and ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors;
- Run exercises and drill your emergency plans so that you are prepared to respond quickly to minimize the impact of any attack;
- Encrypt your data so it cannot be used if it is stolen;
- Educate your employees on common tactics that attackers will use over email or through websites, and encourage them to report if their computers or phones have shown unusual behavior
You can view the complete White House cybersecurity checklist below for more information.
How Can Individuals Protect Themselves?
While it’s almost impossible for the average Internet user to protect themselves from massive cyberattacks like these, there are some steps that can be taken to better protect ourselves online.
This includes anonymous email addresses, watching out for phishing scams, password managers, using two-factor authentication, backing up data, avoiding unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, and running a VPN on internet-connected devices.
What do you think of this checklist released by the White House for upcoming Russian cyberattacks?
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