This isn’t Vegas…
What Happens in Ukraine won’t stay in Ukraine. Our world is too connected. We need to be aware of how the Russia/Ukraine crisis affects us. For months Ukraine has been under cyberattack, and it precludes what could be coming our way.
We are in a cyberwar, and stakes have never been higher without a bullet or bomb dropped. Never before have our enemies had the ability to strike us on US soil by attacking our critical infrastructure such as water, power grid, food production/distribution, and financial institutions. The Russians will not attack our military but attack the people’s will through cyber-attacks disrupting our way of life, which is very dependent on technology. With cyberattacks on Ukraine, the capabilities are apparent.
Why the fear-mongering?
I had the opportunity to participate in the Cyber Initiatives Group First Quarter Summit last week. Given the news, the summit focused on the developing situation in Ukraine and how it will impact us in the cybersphere. The conversation between Dmitri Alpervitch, The Hon. Susan Gordon, Chris Krebs, and Generals David Petraeus and Kieth Alexander called “What happens in Ukraine won’t stay in Ukraine” brought home the urgency to me.
Especially when Chris Krebs, former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, when asked what organizations can do to protect themselves, he said three things that spoke to me:
- Crisis Management Plan Ready. Having a crisis management plan which includes crisis communications and a cyber incident response plan dusted off, updated, and practiced, is essential to getting back to business which flows into…
- Understanding Your Dependency. Ukraine is home to many software developers and companies. If they are comprised, you could be too, which means that…
- Back-Ups are Secure. When a cyber-attack hits, such as a ransomware attack, your data should be backed up and secure, which will allow you to bring your business back online quickly.
What’s the timeline?
In addition, to attending briefings with people in the know and being an Infragard active member, I use open-source information. I see trends pointing to cyber-attacks causing disruption. For example, we made it through the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day with substantial incidents. If Putin is going to attack Ukraine on the ground, it would be after the Olympics and on or before 23 February, Russia’s In Defence of the Fatherland Day. During this time, significant cyber-attacks could be launched against the US and Europe.
Small businesses are targets.
While we can’t entirely stop cyber-attacks against small businesses, the goal is to make small businesses more resilient: how quickly can we restore systems and get back to business.
Let’s talk about how we can work together regarding how not to gamble with your small business cyber security during this unsettling time.