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Rising cyber risks amid recent events: Measures you can take to prepare for evolving threats

March 8, 2022 Article 2 min read
Authors:
Joe Oleksak Mike Lipinski David Sikina
In today’s world, the internet connects us all. And while we might not find ourselves on the front lines of an ongoing conflict, all businesses are at greater risk of cyberattack “fallout.” Are you prepared?
Photo of an American flag hanging in the interior lobby of a building.In today’s world, the internet connects us all. While we might not find ourselves on the front lines of an ongoing conflict, all businesses are at greater risk of cyberattacks and increased cyberthreats resulting from the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. If you’re thinking, “But we’re not a target — no one will attack us,” or that outsourcing to an IT vendor ensures your security, think again. Cyberattacks — whether or not they target your company, your suppliers, or your customers directly — can impact your ability to maintain operations and deliver your products and services.

Sophisticated threats and techniques have been in play for a while, but the Russia-Ukraine conflict is creating an environment of increased risk, and organizations should be on high alert. We’ve already seen sophisticated attacks on organizations of all types, including:

  • Malware that enables bad actors to control or gather information from your systems.
  • Data-wiping malware that indiscriminately destroys your data.
  • Malware that exfiltrates your sensitive information.
  • Ransomware and advanced ransomware techniques used to steal your data in addition to locking your networks, which hamstrings your ability to serve your customers.
  • Ongoing social engineering of all types to gain information, passwords, and fodder for future cyberattacks.

To put it succinctly, cybersecurity is a business issue, and business leaders can’t afford to assume, or simply hope, their organization won’t fall prey. Remember: The internet wasn’t designed with security in mind. As long as you have an electronic presence, you’re vulnerable.

To put it succinctly, cybersecurity is a business issue, and business leaders can’t afford to assume, or simply hope, their organization won’t fall prey.

What you can do today 

Here are actionable steps you can take to reduce your organization’s risk in the wake of increasing cyberattacks:

  • Communicate regularly to your users and stakeholders. Advise them of the threats and remind that they are a critical part of mitigating cybersecurity risk.
  • Review the status of patches and updates for systems and software.
  • Test the health of your most recent backups and stage a test recovery.
  • Review your incident response plan. Run a tabletop exercise to test your plan.
  • Review alerts from threat detection systems.
  • Test and validate the effectiveness of your security controls and systems.
  • Contact your cybersecurity vendors for updates and information.
  • Get updates from reliable cybersecurity resources such as the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Don’t wait to strengthen your cyber defenses

Every organization can take steps to improve its cybersecurity and limit operational vulnerabilities, especially those created by global turbulence. Start wherever you are to enhance your tools, procedures, and systems. Don’t wait. Those that do, particularly now, risk becoming the “easy target.” Not sure where to begin or how to prioritize? Take the opportunity to reach out to us for guidance — we’re happy to help.

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