President Warns of Russian Cyberattacks and Demands Greater Cybersecurity Preparedness

President Warns of Russian Cyberattacks and Demands Greater Cybersecurity Preparedness

Russian Cyberattacks on the Rise

President Biden issued a warning this week about the likelihood of attacks on U.S. government and corporate targets emanating from Russia.

“This is a critical moment to accelerate our work to improve domestic cybersecurity and bolster our national resilience. I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners. It’s part of Russia’s playbook. Today, my Administration is reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks,” he said.

Earlier announcements had mainly been about bolstering the cybersecurity profile of governmental agencies. However, this message took a different tone. It focused on the need for private organizations to increase their level of alertness and cybersecurity preparedness.

“But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone,” said the President. “Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors. If you have not already done so, I urge our private sector partners to harden your cyber defenses immediately by implementing the best practices we have developed together over the last year.”

CISA Issues Urgent Cybersecurity Alert

Just before this announcement, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a Shields Up alert that included mitigation guidance for any suffering an attack, as well as laying the best practices noted by the President.

Such best practices include keeping patches up to date and scanning network and devices regularly for any signs of malicious or anomalous behavior.

As CISA said among its key guidelines:

  • Ensure that software is up to date, prioritizing updates that address known exploited vulnerabilities identified by CISA.
  • Confirm that the organization’s IT personnel have disabled all ports and protocols that are not essential for business purposes.

Unfortunately, too many businesses either neglect these functions or let them fall behind. In a great many breaches, attackers take advantage of known vulnerabilities that organizations have failed to patch. In many other attacks, the signs of incursion are not difficult to spot. Yet absent or inadequate scanning fails to uncover them.

No one wants to experience a cyberattack. That is why it is so important to scan constantly for vulnerabilities and keep patches up to date. Syxsense is the only product that combines automated patching, vulnerability scanning, and IT management.