US warns organizations to brace for potential Russian cyberattacks

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a recommendation that all U.S. organizations should increase cybersecurity to shield up against potential threats from Russia.

The CISA warning, posted Feb. 14, came after the State Department advisory that urged Americans to leave Ukraine because of increased threats by the Russian military.

"While there are not currently any specific credible threats to the U.S. homeland, we are mindful of the potential for the Russian government to consider escalating its destabilizing actions in ways that may impact others outside of Ukraine," the advisory said. 

The advisory recommended organizations, regardless of size, do the following:

  • ​​Ensure that cybersecurity/IT personnel are focused on identifying and quickly assessing any unexpected or unusual network behavior.
  • Confirm that the organization's network is protected by antivirus or anti-malware software and that signatures in these tools are updated.

  • If an organization is working with Ukrainian organizations, monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations.

  • Create or designate a crisis-response team who will be prepared for cybersecurity incidents.
  • Organizations should test backup procedures to ensure critical data can be rapidly restored if the organization is impacted by ransomware or a destructive cyberattack.
  • If an organization is using industrial control systems or operational technology, it should test manual controls to ensure critical functions remain operable if the organization’s network is unavailable or untrusted.

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