In a speech on March 21st, 2022 United States President Biden warned of the likelihood of #cyberattacks by Russia. He stated, “This is a critical moment to accelerate our work to improve domestic cybersecurity and bolster our national resilience.” Later in the statement, he urged private sector partners to “harden your defenses immediately.”
The largest fixed-line telecommunications company in #Ukraine, Ukrtelecom, suffered a Russian DDoS attack. A report by Cybersecurity Insiders noted that as the physical Russian invasion stalls, frustration from Moscow will lead to increased cyber warfare.
Speaking at a Parliament for National #Security meeting, Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson said, “As the cyber power is evolving on a greater note, we also need to bring changes in the way we are dealing with the attacks.” He went on to suggest that the UK shrink the size of the armed forces personnel as most of the warfare is going in cyberspace.
Energy systems are critical infrastructure providing power for business operations, public safety, and personal household maintenance. Light, heat, cooling, internet, communications, and health care are all dependent on a consistently reliable power distribution system. As technology upgrades such as smart grids, make power distribution more productive and less expensive, they also make power distribution more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Internet access to critical components for management, maintenance, and diagnostics creates opportunities for hackers to disrupt critical systems.
Health care is another critical system dangerously vulnerable to disruption by #cybercriminals or state-sponsored hacking organizations. According to a report from Palo Alto Networks, 83% of medical
diagnostic systems such as X-Ray, MRI, CAT scans, and mammograms are running on outdated operating systems. One problem is that these systems are very expensive. As new, more secure operating systems are developed, older physical equipment is often not compatible with the new software. Therefore, the entire system must be changed out, which is very expensive. The alternative is to continue with the older systems and try to update functionality. This patchwork upgrade process leads to open vulnerabilities from unsupported operating systems supporting critical diagnostic equipment.
While power and medical are two of the most critical and most vulnerable systems, there are many other important networks including financial, education, and enterprise that are open to state-
sponsored attacks. In uncertain times when #cyberwarfare is an increasingly potent threat, all government and business networks must be vigilant about their cyber security profile.
Quick Cyber Security Tips
Cyber security can be complicated. A complete cyber security profile includes many planks including software, hardware, training, politics, and budget. However, here are a few tips to help fortify your cyber defenses.
● Non-IT personnel training - Create a cyber security awareness culture among those who may have access to corporate networks but are not IT-focused. This will reduce vulnerability to phishing and ransomware schemes.
● Security patches - Create a routine for checking manufacturing updates and installing patches as they become available.
● Permanent, consistent network monitoring - Traffic monitoring is not only for diagnostics. Installing traffic monitoring and analysis tools can help identify malicious traffic and prevent attacks before they get embedded in systems.
Get Help from Cyber Security Experts
Every network is different. There is no one cyber security recipe that fits all networks. There are many factors such as mission criticality, geographic scope, type and quantity of endpoint devices, operating systems, budget, and applications that will determine your cyber security profile.
Network Critical is a network security company that specializes in network monitoring, security tool access, and un-hackable shields to protect all types of networks. The company has vast experience helping government, enterprise, financial and medical networks build strong defenses against cyberattacks from all corners. From simple fiber break-out TAPs to sophisticated, feature-rich Packet Brokers, Network Critical is a foundational resource for network security.
In addition to providing reliable connectivity and 100% visibility to security tools, the Network Critical product portfolio also includes products that can directly enhance your security profile by establishing un-hackable pre-set policies to block traffic from potentially vulnerable ports. These security tools are invisible to the network so can not be seen by hackers.
Hopefully, this information will motivate network managers to review their cyber security profiles and develop a plan to bolster defenses. The war in Ukraine has created a perfect storm for increased cyber warfare activity. All networks are at risk. Monitoring and analyzing your traffic can help you block attacks before the bad actors create havoc with your network and your budget. Remember, prevention is much cheaper than remediation.
For more information or to consult with the security experts at Network Critical go to www.networkcritical.com/contact-us.