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White House Warns of Potential Russian Cyberattacks

President Joe Biden issued a warning on March 21, 2022 of intelligence pointing to a growing Russian cyber threat and urged US businesses to immediately prepare defenses. "If you have not already done so, I urge our private sector partners to harden your cyber defenses immediately," he said in a statement

At the same time, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) increased warnings about Russian hacking. CISA's current campaign, Shields Up, urges all organizations to immediately patch and secure network boundaries.  

President Biden said the warnings in regard to improving tech security were "based on evolving intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks."

"Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your systems to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system," the White House has warned. 

Addressing this responsible for private entities, Biden said, "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. We need everyone to do their part."

The White House is urging all organizations, even those that are not considered critical infrastructure, to strengthen their defenses. In addition to MFA, the White House also urges companies to take these seven steps:

  • Deploy modern security tools on your computers and devices to continuously look for and mitigate threats
  • 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 to common tactics that attackers will use over email or through websites
  • Work with FBI and CISA to establish relationships in advance of any cyber incidents

As a reminder, CISA states all organizations should report anomalous cyber activity and/or cyber incidents 24/7 to report@cisa.gov (link sends email) or 888.282.0870.

If you have questions or concerns about your organization's cybersecurity, feel free to contact us at 800.627.1556.