As the war between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate, both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have warned companies about a very significant rise in cyberattacks. As a result, business owners are being advised to take immediate and aggressive action to harden their network security.
“It saddens me to see what is taking place and the impact it is having on businesses in all market sectors and of all sizes. You must remain vigilant and keep data security as a top priority,” stated Gary Salman, CEO of Black Talon Security, a NY-based cybersecurity firm that has secured 25,000 devices across the country and trained more than 13,000 business professionals on current cyber threats.
According to Black Talon Security, prior to the opening of Russia’s ground offensive, a highly sophisticated cyberattack was launched against the Ukrainian government that wiped thousands of computers clean. Wiper malware is becoming the next evolution of ransomware (a longtime problem for many business owners) and will likely begin impacting businesses across the globe if historically similar cyberattacks are any indication. Other forms of cyberattacks, including malware and ransomware, also continue to be a concern, especially for small- and mid-sized businesses.
Below are some simple steps that all business owners and their employees can take now to help avoid potential cyberattacks:
- Make sure you engage with a specialist in cybersecurity who has the advanced training, tools and certifications to ensure that your network is being properly secured.
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to validate logins to your computer.
- Always use strong, unique passwords that are a minimum of 14 characters and use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters.
- Make sure your systems are being regularly patched and verify the patches were applied.
- Train ALL employees on the various types of social engineering scams that often result in the compromise of network and application credentials.
Given the uncertainty of the cyber world, it is critically important for all businesses to upgrade their internal cybersecurity measures and consistently test them to ensure the privacy of their company and customer/patient data, according to Salman.
Black Talon Security (headquartered in Katonah, NY) is a cybersecurity company focused on protecting business professionals from cybersecurity incidents while helping them with compliance through education, training and documentation. Information on Black Talon’s services can be found at www.blacktalonsecurity.com.